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Full text of "The poetical works of S.T. Coleridge; with memoir, notes, etc"

THE LIBRARY OF THE 





THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




ENDOWED BY THE 

DIALECTIC AN* PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



PRUU70 
.E8 



UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



00014405271 



This book is due at the LOUIS R. WILSON LIBRARY on the 
last date stamped under "Date Due." If not on hold it may be 











DATE Dirx 
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THE POETICAL WORKS 



OP 



llS. T. COLERIDGE. 



WITH MEMOIR, NOTES, ETC. 



NEW YORK 

THOMAS Y. CROWELL & CO. 

46 East Fourteenth Street 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

LIFE.... 7 

PREFACE 23 

EARLY POEMS— 

Dedication to the Reverend George Coleridge 27 

Songs of the Pixies 29 

The Rose 32 

Kisses 32 

To Sara 33 

The Sigh 34 

Genevieve 34 

Absence ; a farewell ode 35 

Lines to a beautiful Spring in a Village 35 

Written in early youth. The time,— an Autumnal Evening 36 

To a Young Lady, with a Poem on the French Revolution 39 

Imitated from Ossian 40 

The Complaint of Ninathoma 41 

Imitated from the Welsh 41 

To a young Ass 42 

To an Infant 43 

Epitaph on an Infant 43 

Domestic Peace 44 

Lines written at the King's Arms, Ross 44 

To a Friend ; with an unfinished Poem 45 

Lines on a Friend who died of a frenzy fever 46 

Monody on the Death of Chatterton 47 

To the Nightingale 50 

In the manner of Spenser 51 

To the Author of Poems, published anonymously at Bristol 52 

Ode to Sara 53 

To a Friend, in answer to a melancholy letter , 55 

Composed at Clevedon 56 

Reflections on leaving a place of retirement 58 

To an unfortunate Woman 50 

Lines on observing a blossom on the first of February, 1796 60 

The hour when we shall meet again 61 

To C. Lloyd 61 

Religious Musings 63 

The Destiny of Nations 74 

The Raven 86 

Time, Real and Imaginary 8? 



CONTENTS. 



I'AGK. 

The Foster Mother's Tale 87 

Lines written after a walk before supper 89 

On a connubial Rupture in high life 89 

On the Christening of a friend's child 90 

SONNETS— 

Sonnet 1 91 

On a discovery made too late 92 

Sonnet 3 92 

To the River Otter 92 

Sonnet 5 92 

Sonnet 6 92 

To Burke 93 

To Mercy 94 

To Priestley 94 

To Erskine , . 95 

To Sheridan 95 

To Mrs. Siddons 96 

To Lafayette 96 

Composed while climbing Brockley Coomb 96 

To Schiller 97 

To Earl Stanhope 97 

Composed on a journey homeward : — on the Birth of a Son 98 

To the Autumnal Moon 98 

To a Friend., who asked how I felt when the nurse first presented my 

infant to me 99 

Sonnet 20 99 

Sonnet 21 99 

To Simplicity 100 

ACouplet 100 

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER 101 

CHRISTABEL 118 

Part 1st 118 

Part 2d ' 124 

SIBYLLINE LEAVES— 

I. POEMS OCCASIONED BY POLITICAL EVENTS— 

Ode to the Departing Year 132 

France. An ode 136 

Fears in Solitude 139 

Fire, Famine, and Slaughter 145 

II. LOVE POEMS- 

Love 147 

Ballad of the Dark Ladie 149 

Lewti 150 

The Picture 152 

The Night Scene 156 

To an Unfortunate Woman at the Theatre 158 

Lines composed in a concert-room 159 



CONTENTS. 5 

— — — — ■ 

PAGE. 

The Keepsake 1(30 

To a Lady with Falconer's Shipwreck 161 

To a young Lady on her recovery from a fever 162 

Something childish, but very natural 163 

Homesick 163 

Answer to a child's question 164 

A Child's Evening Prayer , ' 164 

The Visionary Hope 165 

The Happy Husband 165 

Recollections of Love ; 166 

On revisiting the Seashore ' 167 

HI. MEDITATIVE POEMS— 

Hymn before sunrise in the vale of Chamouni 168 

Lines written in the Album at Elbingerode in the Hartz Forest 170 

Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath 171 

A tombless Epitaph 172 

This lime-tree bower my prison 173 

To a Friend who had declared his intention of writing no more poetry 175 

To William Wordsworth 176 

The Nightingale ,. 179 

Frost at Midnight 182 

The Three Graves 184 

ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS— 

Dejection, an Ode 191 

Ode to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire 195 

Ode to Tranquillity 197 

Lines to W. L 198 

Addressed to a Young Man of Fortune 198 

The Virgin's Cradle Hymn 199 

Epitaph on an Infant 199 

Melancholy 199 

Tell's Birthplace 200 

A Christmas Carol , 201 

Human Life 203 

The Visit of the Gods 203 

Elegy 204 

The Pang more sharp than all 205 

Kubla Khan 207 

The Pains of Sleep 209 

PROSE IN RHYME— 

Duty surviving Self-love. 211 

Song. .. 211 

Phantom or Fact. .„ 212 

Work without Hope 213 

Youth and Age 213 

Day Dream 214 

To a Lady 215 

Lines suggested by the last words of Berengarius 216 

The Devil's Thoughts 217 

The Alienated Mistress - . 215 



CONTENTS, 



PAGE. 

Constancy to an Ideal Object 219 

Suicide's Argument 220 

The Blossoming of the solitary Date tree 220 

Fancy in Nubibus 222 

The two Founts . .. 222 

The Wanderings of Cain 225 

ZAPOLYA- 

Part I 230 

Part II 251 

REMORSE— A TRAGEDY... 310 

THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE— AN HISTORICAL DRAMA.... 382 

WALLENSTEIN— 

The Piceolomini ...... 407 

Death of Wallenstein 55« 



LIFE AND WEITINGS 

OF 

S. T. COLERIDGE. 



Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the son of a Clergyman, 
and was born at Ottery St. Mary, in Devonshire, in the year 
1773. He received his education at Christ's Hospital, and at 
Jesus College, Cambridge, where poetry and metaphysics became 
his favorite studies. 

There is an anecdote related of him at this period of his life, 
that on his leaving college he enlisted as a common soldier in the 
dragoons : of course he did not remain long in the service. It 
was thought that his then democratical feelings made his officers 
willing to get rid of him ; it is a fact, he could not be taught to 
ride. 

Upon this singular fact, however, the Rev. Mr. Bowles com- 
municated the subsequent information to the Times : — " I am, 
perhaps, the only person now living who can explain all the cir- 
cumstances from Mr. Coleridge's own mouth, with whom I 
became acquainted after a sonnet addressed to me in his poems ; 
moreover, being intimate in our school days, and at Oxford, 
with that very officer in his regiment who alone procured his 
discharge, from whom I also heard the facts after Coleridge 
became known as a poet. 

" The regiment was the 15th, Elliot's light dragoons ; the 
officer was Nathaniel Ogle, eldest son of Dr. Newton Ogle, dean 
of Winchester, and brother of the late Mrs. Sheridan ; he was a 
scholar, and leaving Merton College, he entered this regiment a 
cornet. Some years afterwards, I believe he was then captain 
of Coleridge's troop, going into the stables, at Reading, he 



8 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE 

remarked, written on the white wall, under one of the saddles 
in large pencil characters, the following sentence in Latin : 

' Eheu ! quam inf ortunii miserrimum est f uisse f elicem ! ' 

Being struck with the circumstance, and himself a scholar, Cap- 
tain Ogle inquired of a soldier whether he knew to whom the 
saddle belonged. 'Please your honor, to Comberback,' 
answered the dragoon. 'Comberback ! ' said the captain, 'send 
him to me.' Comberback presented himself, Avith the inside of 
his hand in front of his cap. His officer mildly said, ' Comber- 
back, did you write the Latin sentence which I have just read 
under your saddle?' 'Please your honor,' answered the sol- 
dier, ' I wrote it.' ' Then, my lad, you are not what you appear 
to be. I shall speak to the commanding officer, and you may 
depend upon my speaking as a friend.' The commanding offi- 
cer, I think, was General Churchill. Comberback* was exam- 
ined, and it was found out, that having left Jesus College, 
Cambridge, and being in London without resources, he had 
enlisted in this regiment. He was soon discharged, — not from 
his democratical feelings, for whatever those feelings might be, 
as a soldier he was remarkably orderly and obedient, though he 
could not rub down his own horse. He was discharged from 
respect to his friends and his station. His friends having been 
informed of his situation, a chaise was soon at the door of the 
Bear Inn, Heading, and the officers of the 15th cordially shaking 
his hands, particularly the officer who had been the means of his 
discharge, he drove off, not without a tear in his eye, whilst his 
old companions of the tap-roomf gave him three hearty cheers 
as the wheels rapidly rolled away along the Bath road to Lon- 
don and Cambridge." 

He was first known to the public by some lines inserted in 
Southey's 'Joan of Arc ;' and in 1796 he published a collection 
of poems which immediately rendered him famous. Some of 
these consisted of short songs which evince much taste and feel- 
ing, though rather awkwardly expressed. In this volume was a 
piece entitled 'Religious Musings," which contains- the most 
original and sublime thoughts, although they are now and then 

* When he enlisted he was asked his name. He hesitated, hut saw the name 
Comberback over a shop door near Westminster-bridge, and instantly said his name 
was Comberback. 

t It should be mentioned that by far the most correct, sublime, chaste and beauti- 
ful of his popmfynieojufacio, ' Religious Musings,' was written npn inter sylvas academic 
but in the tap-room at Reading. A fine subject for a painting by Wilkie. 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 9 

obscure and harsh. He soon after published his drama of ' The 
Fall of Robespierre,' which was most' favorably received, and 
in his ' Ode to the Departing year,' and his ' Tears in Solitude,' 
1798, which shortly followed, we shall find the same originality 
of thought, with increased power of expression, and improved 
versification. The latter piece is a lofty and energetic satire of 
a new cast. It is occupied with the censure and reprobation of 
war and the vanity of glory, and is animated by so earnest and 
just a spirit, and such high-toned language and intense benevo- 
lence, as to entitle it to a very high place among the poetical 
productions of this country : — even the obscurity of the author 
will be found to have totally vanished in this poem, and to be 
replaced by the most vivid and clear ideas. The manner in 
which he embodies atheism, in this poem, shows a truly original 
turn of thought, and the question at the end is most admirable. 

The very name of God 
bounds like a juggler's charm; while bold with joy, 
Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place 
(Portentous sight), the owlet Atheism, 
Sailing on wings obscure — athwart the moon, 
Drops his blue fringed lids, and holds them close; 
And, hooting at the glorious sun in heaven, 
Cries out — ' Where is it ? ' 

Soon after this he was introduced to Southey and Lovell, 
when the three, with an enthusiastic notion of reforming the 
political world, proceeded to put their intentions into effect. 
They commenced at Bristol, where Coleridge delivered lectures 
on the approaching happiness of the human race, by means of 
republicanism. These created a great sensation, and were 
received with great applause; but on his leaving Bristol for 
other places, the number of his auditors diminished, nor did his 
writings in his journal, called The Watchman, attract much 
notice. In one of these lectures he divided readers into four 
classes. The first he compared to an hour-glass ; their reading 
being as the sand — it runs in and runs out, and leaves not a ves- 
tige behind. A second class, he said, resembled a, sponge — 
which imbibes everything, and returns it in nearly the same 
state, only a little dirtier. A third class he likened to a jelly- 
bag — which allows all that is pure to pass away, and retains only 
the refuse and the dregs. The fourth class, of which he trusted 
there were many among his auditors, he compared to the slaves 



io LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 

in the diamond mines of Golconda — who, casting aside all that 
is worthless, preserved only the pure gem. 

A very experienced short-hand writer was employed to take 
down Mr. Coleridge's lectures on Shakspeare, but the manu- 
script was almost entirely unintelligible. Yet the lecturer was 
always slow and measured. The writer gave this account of the 
difficulty : that, with regard to every other speaker whom he had 
ever heard, however rapid or involved, he could almost always, 
by long experience in his art, guess the form of the latter part, 
or apodosis, of the sentence by the form of the beginning ; but 
that the conclusion of every one of Coleridge's sentences was a 
surprise upon him ; he was obliged to listen to the last word. 
Yet this unexpectedness, as it may be termed, was not the effect 
of quaintness or confusion of construction ; so far from it, that 
we believe foreigners of different nations, especially Germans 
and Italians, have often borne very remarkable testimony to the 
grammatical purity and simplicity of his language, and have 
declared that they generally understood what he said much 
better than the sustained conversation of any other Englishman 
whom they had met. It is the uncommonness of the thoughts 
or the image which prevents your anticipating the end. 

He published about this time a volume of poems, which met 
with great success, and put him in possession of a sum with 
which he resolved to proceed to America, and endeavor, in 
conjunction with his friends, to carry their theory into execu- 
tion in the new world, by the name of Pantisocracy. The 
design, however, was broken off by a simultaneous attachment 
on the part of these enthusiasts towards three sisters of the name 
of Flicker, with whom the respective marriages of Coleridge, 
Lovell, and Southey, soon followed. Having nothing but his 
literary attainments to depend on, Coleridge soon fell into pecu- 
niary embarrassments, from which lie was relieved by the cele- 
brated Mr. Wedgwood, who enabled him to complete his studies 
In Germany. After his return home, lie wrote the leading 
articles for the Morning Post, translatgd some dramas of 
Schiller, and accompanied Sir Alexander Ball, as his secretary, 
to Malta. 

On his return he produced a tragedy called ' Remorse,' which 
raised him to a much higher pitch of fame than any of his former 
productions. In language it would be impossible to surpass 
it : — It was natural, free, forcible blank verse, equal in some 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 1 1 

parts to Shakspeare, and interspersed with a multitude of sub- 
lime thoughts which are evidently traceable to a German source, 
though still only as their cause, not their actual birth-place ; 
that is to say, though he borrowed hints he did not purloin con- 
ceptions ready formed. This play is a poetical study for its 
powerful thought and excellent expression. 

He now took up his residence on the borders of one of the 
lakes in Cumberland, where he wrote ' Christabel,' in which he 
displayed much of the ridiculous mixed up with a little of the 
sublime, much of poetic wildness with a great deal of eccen- 
tricity. 

During the last nineteen years of his life, he resided at 
Hampstead, with two old and valued friends, to whom he had 
endeared himself by his many virtues ; and with these dear 
friends he breathed his last, at half-past six, on Friday, 25th 
July, 1834, and was interred in the vault of Highgate Church, 
on the 2d August. 

The fatal change was sudden and decisive ; and six days 
before his death, he knew assuredly that his hour was come. 
His few worldly affairs had been long settled, and after many 
tender adieus, he expressed a wish that he might be as little 
interrupted as possible. His sufferings were severe and constant 
till within thirty-six hours of his end ; but they had no power 
to affect the deep tranquillity of his mind, or the wonted sweet- 
ness of his address. His prayer from the beginning was, that 
God would not withdraw his Spirit ; and that by the way in 
which he would bear the last struggle, he might be able to evince 
the sincerity of his faith in Christ. If ever man did so, 
Coleridge did. 

We believe it has not been the lot of any other literary man 
in England, since Dr. Johnson, to command the devoted admi- 
ration and steady zeal of so many and such widely-different dis- 
ciples — some of them having become, and others being likely to 
become, fresh and independent sources of light and moral action 
in themselves upon the principles of their common master. One 
half of these affectionate disciples have learned their lessons of 
philosophy from the teacher's mouth. He has been to them as 
an old oracle of the Academy or Lyceum. The fulness, the 
inwardness, the ultimate scope of his doctrines has never yet been 
published in print, and if disclosed, it has been from time to 
time in the higher moments of conversation, when occasion, and 



12 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 



mood, and person begot an exalted crisis. More than once has 
Mr. Coleridge said, that with pen in hand he felt a thousand 
checks and difficulties in the expression of his meaning • but 
that — authorship aside — he never found the smallest hitch or 
impediment in the fullest utterance of his most subtle fancies by 
word of mouth.. His abstrusest thoughts became rhythmical 
and clear when chaunted to their own music. 

It now only remains for us to offer a few general remarks on 
his poetical productions ; and here we think that cold must be 
the temperature of that man's mind, who can rise from the 
perusal of the poems of Coleridge, without feeling that intense 
interest, and those vivid emotions of delight, which are ever 
excited by the wondrous operation of the magic wand of genius. 
To those whom constitution and cultivation have initiated into 
the sacred mysteries of song, — whose mental optics have often 
been enraptured with the delights of ecstatic vision, — and whose 
ear is tremulous to the touch of those harmonious undulations 
which fancy pours from her soul-subduing shell; to such, the 
genius of Coleridge, even in its wildest aberrations, can never 
be listened to with indifference. Warm admirers of his powers, 
we have often, however, painfully regretted the irregularity of 
their application. We regret that he, who was so capable of 
raising a chastely beautiful Grecian temple, should endeavor, 
seemingly for the sake of being the founder of a new order of 
poetic architecture, to erect a grotesque pagoda, where good 
taste may be sacrificed on the shrine of novelty. We regret 
this, because we are convinced that many of his admirers, mis- 
taking the cause of his powerful influence on their minds, seize 
upon the grosser and reprehensible parts, as objects of their 
applause and imitation ; and, indeed, it requires no little" exer- 
cise of reflection and nice discrimination to convince them, that 
it may not be that very unsubdued irregularity of thought, and 
the illegitimacy of expression connected with it, which form the 
spell of that enchantment which binds us within the verge of its 
circle, benumbing the faculty of reason by delivering us up to 
the empire of feeling; and while we listen to the charm, depriv- 
ing us of the power of perceiving the incongruity of its parts. 
We must add, and in proportion as we admire and honor his 
genius, so we lament that while he possessed strength sufficient 
to march forward with dignity in the path of legitimate excel- 
lence, unassisted and triumphant, he should thus have wilfully 



+ 



LIFE AMD WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 13 

strayed aside to its more rugged borders, merely, it should seem, 
to form a track of his own ; that he who could attune the muse's 
lyre*with heavenly concord, should descend to the trickery of 
'pantomime poetry, if such a term can be made use of to express 
our ideas of any verbal description ; a term, the fitness of which 
we shall refer to the judgment of the reader in the following 
lines : — 

And the owls have awakened the crowing cock; 

Tu whit ! tu whoo ! 

And hark, again ! the crowing cock, 
How drowsily it crew. 
Sir Leoline, the baron rich, 
Hath a toothless mastiff bitch ; 
From her kennel beneath the rock 
She makes answer to the clock, 
Four for the quarters and twelve for the hour, 
Ever and aye, moonshine or shower, 
Sixteen short howls, not over loud ; 
, Some say, she sees my lady's shroud. 
Is the night chilly and dark ? 
The night is chilly, but not dark. 

***** 

From cliff and tower, tu whoo! tu whoo! 

Tu whoo! tu whoo! from wood and fell! 

***** 
Five warriors seized me, yestermorn, 
Me, even me, a maid forlorn. 

Christabel 
Took the key that fitted well; 
A little door she opened straight, 
All in the middle of the gate. 

We have so much to talk about, 
So many sad things to let out. 
So many tears in our eye corners 
Sitting like little Jacky Homers: 
In short, as soon as it is day, 
Do go, dear Kain, do go away. 

That he sings, and he sings, and for ever sings he,— 
* 1 love my love, and my love loves me.' 

Revolting as this is to our pre-conceived notions of excel- 
lence, could it be proved that the pleasure we have felt and the 
improvement we have received from the poetry of Mr. Coleridge 
arose in any degree from what we consider the inordinate pecu- 



14 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 



Rarities of his manner, we should not fastidiously reject the 
emotions arising from recalled ideas of delight, because of the 
vehicle by which they were conveyed to us. We do not avert 
our eyes from the animated picture, because of the coarseness of 
the canvas. It is so often our lot to meet with dulness and insi- 
pidity, that while we thirst for a refreshing draught from the 
springs of genius, we may say to each other, with Horace : — 

' Num, tibi cum fauces urit sitis, aurea quseris 
Pocula ? ' 

We are far, very far, also, from wishing to bind forever any 
operation of the soul, and least of all heaven-born poesy, in the 
trammels which art has thought it expedient to coil around her. 
But while we are desirous that the space assigned for the flight 
of fancy be interminable, we only rejoice when she directs her 
course in the track of the sunbeams. We remember reading of 
a prince who offered a premium for the invention of a new 
pleasure ; in like manner we should feel ourselves greatly 
indebted to the man who could charm us with a new species of 
poetry, and we should be little disposed to depreciate the source 
of that fountain from which we had quaffed so grateful a bever- 
age. Our pleasure, however, would be greatly alloyed by the 
fear which would naturally arise in our minds on reflecting that 
when once an enterprising genius, confident of his own strength, 
ventures to pass the boundaries of human cultivation, and launch 
out into the untrodden wilderness, he may draw many to follow 
his footsteps who cannot boast of possessing either his vigor or 
his resources. Such talents as Mr. Coleridge possessed, never 
need to seek for notoriety. in the paths of singularity. He who 
can speak well has no occasion to make use of violent and dis- 
torted gesticulation. 

We grant that the new adaptation of terms, which may con- 
vey a strong idea of any object or essence, distinctly marks the 
existence of real genius. When Shakspeare mentions poetic 
inspiration as giving to * airy nothings a local habitation and a 
name,' who does not perceive the fitness of the term airy to bring 
to the mind all the idea of a being too attenuated for perceptible 
outline, even to the imagination ? Yet air is a palpable sub- 
stance, and cannot, philosophically speaking, be reckoned an 
attribute to nothing : but here poetry speaks to the fancy as it 
appeals to and is in unison with our first and natural perceptions, 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. l£ 

which consider air as nothing. ' The angry cannon,' ' the mur- 
muring stream,' are all metaphors borrowed from our natural 
and untutored perception of things, and affect our imagination 
as they areun unison with our associations. The cannon, how- 
ever, is not angry, nor does the stream really murmur ; yet no 
terms could better lead the imagination to the burst of the one, 
or the humming noise of the other. As we said before, to dis« 
cover new, or skilfully adapt old terms, which may recall strongly 
the ideas of objects or their attributes to the imagination, is the 
work of genius, and the true mark and criterion to judge of its 
presence. But to endeavor to heighten description by the ven- 
triloquism, if we may so call it, of physical imitation, as in the 
lines we have quoted ; to try to awaken our feelings by the force 
of verbal reiteration, as if a passage to our minds could be ob- 
tained by overcharging our ears, and that often when the idea 
itself, naturally and simply expressed, would have placed the 
picture in a much more advantageous light, can only show the 
taste and the judgment led astray by an ardent quixotic desire 
of novelty. How much more unmixed pleasure it would have 
afforded to have marked all the circumstances connected with 
the poetical ideas we have quoted, by appropriate metaphorical 
terms, which the more regular materials of poetry, culled from 
heaven, earth, and ocean, can supply. 

We are far from inferring that the muse of Mr. Coleridge can 
only appear lovely when she is arrayed in that garb and in those 
colors which are generally worn. We, however, assert, that 
within the boundaries we should prescribe for her excursions, 
•there are many beauties yet undiscovered, many a delightful 
isle yet untrodden, and many a blooming flower, which, though 
it lies in the regular path, would surprise as much by its novelty 
as charm by its beauty. We are thankful we have no occasion 
yet to invest poetry with a new form ; she has not exhausted all 
those bewitching attitudes in which may be placed all that we 
have so long and so ardently admired. As a proof that Mr. 
Coleridge did delight the imagination while he satisfied the 
judgment ; that he did bring to the mind's eye all the treasures 
of his rich and elegant fancy, without having recourse to the 
trifling earnestness of reiteration, or the ludicrous imitation of 
sounds foreign to the human organ, we subjoin the following 
beautifully wrought effusions : 



1 6 LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 



They parted — ne'er to meet again! 

But never either found another 

To free the hollow heart from paining— 

They stood aloof, the scars remaining, 

Like cliffs that had been rent asunder; 

A dreary sea now flows between, , 

But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder, 

Shall wholly do away, I ween, 

The marks of that which once hath been. 

We should add also the beautiful ' Conclusion to part the 
second ' of the above Poem, did we not imagine that many of 
our readers have had the pleasure of perusing it so often as to 
have it ever mingled with their most delightful poetical recollec- 
tions. 

Very few passages in ancient or modern poetry are equal to 
the following : — 

Hence! thou lingerer, light! 

Eve saddens into night. 
Mother of wildly-working dreams ! we view 

The sombre hours, that round thee stand 

With downcast eyes (a duteous band!) 
Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew. 

Sorceress of the ebon throne ! 

Thy power the Pixies own, 

When round thy raven brow 

Heaven's lucent roses glow, 
And clouds, in wat'ry colors drest, 
Float in light drapery o'er thy sable vest;. 
What time the pale moon sheds a softer day, 
Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam: 
For mid the quivering light 'tis ours to play, 
Aye dancing to the cadence of the stream. 

Does not the following bring to the mind's eye many a spct 
of bliss in lovely England ? — 

Low was our pretty cot ; our tallest rose 
Peeped at the chamber-window. We could hear 
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn, 
The sea's faint murmur. In the open air 
Our myrtles blossomed ; and across the porch 
Thick jasmins twined: the little landscape round 
Was green and woody, and refreshed the eye. 
It was a spot, which you might aptly call 
The Valley of Seclusion. 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE, 17 

The following panoramic view is in the most beautiful style 
of poetic painting : — 

O what a goodly scene ! Here the bleak mount, 
The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep; 
Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields; 
And river, now with bushy rocks o'erbrowed, 
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks; 
And seats, and lawns, the abbey, and the wood, 
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire: 
The channel there, the islands and white sails, 
Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless ocean, 
It seemed like omnipresence! God, methought, 
Had built Him there a temple : the whole world 
Seemed imaged in its vast circumference. 

And we cannot conclude these remarks without observing that 
however irregular he may be in the versification of some of his 
poems, however harsh and obscure some of his ideas may ap- 
pear, how r ever indistinct and overstrained some of his metaphors 
may be, yet take his poems as a whole they can only tend to 
cause us to recollect him as the elegant poet of truth, of nature, 
and of virtue. 

It was a saying of Mr. Wordsworth, that many men of this 
age had done wonderful things, as Davy, Scott, Cuyier, etc. ; 
but that Coleridge was the only wonderful man he ever knew. 
Something, of course, must be allowed in this as in all other such 
cases for the antithesis ; but we believe the fact' really to be, 
that the greater part of those who occasionally visited Mr. 
Coleridge left him with a feeling akin to the judgment indicated 
in the above remark. They admired the man more than his 
works, or they forgot the works in the absorbing impression 
made by the living author. And no wonder. Those who re- 
member him in his more vigorous days can bear testimony to 
the peculiarity and transcendant power of his conversational 
.eloquence. It was unlike anything that could be heard else- 
where; the kind, the manner were different. The boundless 
range of scientific knowledge, the brilliancy and exquisite nicety 
r>i illustration, the deep and ready reasoning, the strangeness 
and immensity of bookish lore — were not all ; the dramatic 
story, the joke, the pun, the mirth, must be added— and with 
these, the clerical-looking dress, the thick, waving silver hair, 
the youthful-colored cheek, the indefinable mouth and lips, tha 

• 2 

— »~ — ^ 



18 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 



quick yet steady and penetrating greenish-gray eye, the slow 
and continuous enunciation, and the everlasting music of his 
tones, — all went to make up the image and to constitute the 
living presence of the man. He was then no longer young, and 
bodily infirmities pressed heavily upon him. His natural force 
was indeed abated; but his. eye was not dim, neither was. his 
mind enfeebled. ' O youth! ' he says in one of the most exquis- 
itely finished of his later poems — 

' O youth ! for years so many and so sweet, 
'Tis known that thou and I were one, 
I'll think it but a fond conceit — 
It cannot be that thou art gone : 
Thy vesper bell hath not yet tolled : — 
And thou wert aye a masker bold: 
What strange disguise hast now put on, 
To make believe that thou art gone ? 
I see these locks in silvery slips, 
This drooping gate, this altered size; — 
But springtide blossoms on thy lips, 
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes: 
Life is but thought ; so think I will 
That youth and I are house-mates still.' , 

Mr. Coleridge's conversation, it is true, had not latterly all 
the brilliant versatility of his former years ; yet we know not 
whether the contrast between his bodily weakness and his men- 
tal power did not leave a deeper and a more solemnly affecting 
impression, than his most triumphant displays in youth could 
ever have done. To see the pain-stricken countenance relax, 
and the contracted frame dilate under the kindling of intellec- 
tual fire alone — to watch the infirmities of the flesh shrinking out 
of sight, or glorified and transfigured in the brightness of the 
awakening spirit — is an awful object of contemplation ; and Ave 
think in no other person was ever witnessed such a distinction, — 
nay, alienation of mind from body, — such a mastery of the purely 
intellectual over the purely corporeal, as in the instance of this 
remarkable man. Even to the last his conversation was charac- 
terized by all the essentials of its former excellence; there was 
the same individuality, the same unexpectedness, the same uni- 
versal grasp ; nothing was too high, nothing too low for it : it 
glanced from earth to heaven, from heaven to earth, with a 
speed and a splendor, an ease and a power, which almost 
seemed inspired : yet its universality was i}ot of the same kind 



LIFE AJVD WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE', 19 



with the superficial ranging of the clever talkers, whose criti- 
cism and whose information are called forth by, and spent upon, 
the particular topics in hand. No ; in this more, perhaps, than 
in anything else was Mr. Coleridge's discourse distinguished : 
that it sprang from an inner centre, and illustrated by light 
from the soul. His thoughts were, as we may say, an the radii 
of 'a circle, the centre of which may be in the petals of a rose 5 
and the circumference as wide as the boundary of things visible 
and invisible. 

A few days before his death, this distinguished poet and 
metaphysician wrote the following imj^ressive letter to his god- 
child. It is the last letter its writer ever penned; and happy 
would it be if all godfathers so well applied themselves to the 
dissemination of those principles which they undertake to incul- 
cate upon the tender mind : — 

' To Adam Steinmetz 'Kinnaird. 

1 My dear Godchild, — I offer up the same fervent prayer for 
you now as I did kneeling before the altar when you were bap- 
tized into Christ, and solemnly received as a 'living member of 
his spiritual body, the Church. , Years must pass before you 
will, be able to read with ail understanding heart what I now 
write. But I trust that the all-gracious God, the Father of our 
Lord^Jesus Christ, the Fat/her of mercies, 'who by his only-be- 
gotten Son (all mercies in one sovereign mercy !) lias redeemed 
you from the evil ground, and willed you to be born out of 
darkness, but into light ; out of death, but into life ; out of sin, 
but into righteousness, even into the ' Lord our righteousness ; ' 
I trust that he will .graciously hear the "prayers of your dear 
parents, and be with you as the spirit of health and growth in 
body and in mind. My dear godchild ! you received from 
Christ's minister, at the baptismal font, as your Christian name, 
the name of a most dear friend of your father's, and who was to 
me even as a Son, the late Adam /Steinmetz; whose fervent as- 
pirations and ever paramount aim, even from early youth, was 
tobe a Christian in thought, word, and deed, in will, mind, and 
affections. 

4 1, too, your godfather, have known what the enjoyments 
and advantages of this life are, and what the more refined pleas- 
ures which learning and intellectual power can bestow, and 
with all the experience that more than threescore years can give, 



20 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. 



I now, 011 the eve of my departure, declare to you (and earnestly 
pray that you may hereafter live and act on the conviction), that 
health is a great blessing ; competence, obtained by honorable 
industry, a great blessing ; and a great blessing it is to have 
kind, faithful, and loving friends and relatives ; — but that the 
greatest of all blessings, as it is the most ennobling of all priv- 
ileges, is to be indeed a Christian* But I have been likewise, 
through a large portion of my later life, a sufferer, sorely afflicted 
with bodily pains, languor and manifold infirmities ; and for the 
last three or four years have, with few and brief intervals, been 
confined to a sick room, and at this moment, in great weakness 
and heaviness, write from a sick bed, hopeless of recovery, yet 
without prospect of a speedy removal. And I thus, on the 
brink of the grave, solemnly bear witness to you, that the 
Almighty Redeemer, most gracious in his promises to them that 
truly seek him, is faithful to perform what he has promised ; and 
has reserved, under all my pains and infirmities, the inward 
peace that passeth all understanding, with the supporting assur- 
ance of a reconciled God, who will not withdraw his spirit from 
me in the conflict, and in his own time will deliver me from the 
evil one. O, my dear godchild ! eminently blessed are they who 
begin early to seek, fear, and love their God, trusting wholly in 
the righteousness and mediation of their Lord, Redeemer, 
Saviour, and everlasting High Priest, Jesus Christ. O ! pre- 
serve this as a legacy and bequest from your unseen godfather 
and friend, 

S. T. Coleeidge 
13 July, 1834, 

Grove, Highg.ate. 

Mr. Coleridge wrote, in his life-time, his own numble and 
affectionate epitaph, as follows : — 

Stop, Christian passer-by: Stop, child of God, 

And read, with gentle breast. Beneath this sod 

A poet lies, or that which once seemed he — 

O, lift a thought in prayer for S. T. C. — 

That he who many a year with toil of breath 

Found death in life, may here find life in death: 

Mercy for praise — to be forgiven for fame — 

He asked, and hoped through Christ. Do thou the same. 



It was, however, inapplicable to the place in which he wai 



LIFE AND WRITINGS OF S. T. COLERIDGE. m 



buried : a handsome tablet, erected in Highgate New Church, to 
his memory, bears the following inscription : — 

Sacred to tfje JHcmorj] of 

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, 

' Poet, Philosopher, Theologian. 

This truly great and good man resided for 

The last nineteen years of his life, 

In this Hamlet. 
He quitted ' the body of his death,' 

July 2bth, 1834, 

In the sixty-second year of his age. 

Of his profound learning and discursive genius^ 

His literary works are an imperishable record. 

.To his private worth, 

His social and Christian virtues, 

James and Ann Gillman, 
The friends zoith whom he resided, 
During the above period, dedicate this tablet. 
,, Under the pressure of a long 

I And most painful disease, 

: ■ , His dispositionwas unalterably sweet and angelic. 
He was an ever-enduring, ever-loving friend, 
The gentlest and kindest teacher, 
The most engaging home companion. 

' O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts, 
. O studious poet, eloquent for truth ! 

Philosopher contemning wealth and death, 
Yet docile, child-like, full of life and love.' 

^ Here, 

On this monumental stone, thy friends inscribe thy worth. 
Reader ! for the world mourn. 
A- Light has passed away from the earth! 
But for this pious and exalted Christian, 
* Rejoice, and again I say unto you, rejoice / ' 
Ubi 
Thesaurus 
ibi 
Cor. 
S. T. C. 



PKEFACE 



Compositions resembling those of the present volume are 
not unfrequently condemned for their querulous egotism. But 
egotism is to be condemned then only when it offends against 
time and place, as in an history or an epic poem. To censure 
it in a monody or sonnet is almost as absurd as to dislike a circle* 
for being round. Why then write sonnets or monodies? Be 
cause they give me pleasure when perhaps nothing else could. 
After the more violent emotions of sorrow, the mind demands 
amusement, and can find it in employment alone ; but full of its 
late sufferings, it can endure no employment not in some meas- 
ure connected with them. Forcibly to turn away our atten- 
tion^ to general subjects is a painful and most often an unavailing 
effort. ^ ' ' 

But oh ! how grateful to a wounded heart 

The tale of misery to impart — 

From others' eyes bid artless sorrows flow, 

And raise esteem upon the base of woe !— Shaw. 

The communicativeness of our nature leads us to describe our 
own sorrows ; in .the endeavor to describe them, intellectual 
activity is exerted ; and from intellectual activity there results 
a pleasure, which is gradually associated, and mingles as a cor- 
rective, with the painful subject of the description. ' True !' (it 
may be answered) ' but how are the public interested in your 
sorrows or your description ?' We are for ever attributing per- 
sonal unities to imaginary aggregates. — What is the public, but 
a term for a number of scattered individuals ? Of whom as 
many will be interested in these sorrows, as have experienced 
the same or similar. 

1 Holy be the lay 
Which mourning soothes the mourner on his way.' 



24 PKB^ACB. 



li I could judge of others by myself, I should not hesitate to 
affirm, that the most interesting passages in our most interesting 
poems are those in which the author developes his own feelings. 
The sweet voice of Cona * never sounds so sweetly, as when it 
speaks of itself ; and I should almost suspect that man of an un- 
kindly heart, who could read the opening of the third book of 
the Paradise Lost without peculiar emotion. By a law of our 
nature, he who labors under a strong feeling is impelled to seek 
for sympathy ; but a poet's feelings are all strong. — Quicquid 
amet valcle amat. — Akenside therefore speaks with philosophical 
accuracy when he classes Love and Poetry, as producing the 
same effects : — 

f Love and the wish of poets when their tongue 
Would teach to others' bosoms, what so charms 
Their own.' — Pleasures of Imagination. 

There is one species of egotism which is truly disgusting; 
not that which leads us to communicate our feelings to others, 
but that which would reduce the feelings of others to an iden- 
tity with our own. The atheist, who exclaims, ' Pshaw ! ' when 
he glances his eye on the praises of Deity, is an egotist : an old 
man, when he speaks contemptuously of love verses, is an ego- 
tist : and the sleek favorites of fortune are egotists, when they 
condemn all c melancholy, discontented ' verses. Surely, it would 
be candid not merely to ask whether the poem pleases ourselves, 
but to consider whether or no there may not be others, to whom 
it is well calculated to give an innocent pleasure. 

I shall only add, that each of my readers will, I hope, remem- 
ber, that these poems on various subjects, which he reads at one 
time and under the influence of one set of feelings, were written 
at different times and prompted by very different feelings ; and 
therefore that the supposed inferiority of one poem to another 
may sometimes be owing to the temper of mind in which he 
happens to peruse it. 

My poems have been rightly charged with a profusion of 
double epithets, and a general turgidness. I have pruned the 
double epithets with no sparing hand ; and used my best efforts 
to tame the swell and glitter both of thought and diction. This 
latter fault, however, had insinuated itself into my religious 
musings with such intricacy of union, that sometimes I have 

* Ofisian. 



PREFACE. 25 

omitted to disentangle the weed from the fear of snapping the 
flower. A third and heavier accusation has been brought 
against me, that of obscurity; but not, I think, with equal jus- 
tice. An author is obscure, when his conceptions are dim and 
imperfect, and his language incorrect, or unappropriate, or in- 
volved. A poem that abounds in allusions, like the Bard of 
Gray, or one that impersonates high and abstract truths, like 
Collins's Ode on the poetical character, claims not to be popular, 
but should be acquitted of obscurity. The deficiency is in the 
reader. But this is a charge which every poet, whose imagin- 
ation is warm and rapid, must expect from his contemporaries. 
Milton did not escape it ; and it was adduced with virulence 
against Gray and Collins. We now hear no more of it ; not 
that their poems are better understood at present than they were 
at their first publication ; but their fame is established ; and a 
critic would accuse himself of frigidity or inattention, who should 
profess not to understand them. But a living writer is yet sub 
judice ; and if we cannot follow his conceptions or enter into 
his feelings, it is more consoling to our pride to consider him as 
lost beneath, than as soaring above, us. If any man expect from 
my poems the same e'asiness of style which he admires in a 
drinking-song, for him I have not written. Intelligibilia, non 
intellectum adfero. 

I expect neither profit or general fame by my writings; and 
I consider myself as having been amply repaid without either. 
Poetry has been to me its own ' exceeding great reward : ' it has 
soothed my afflictions ; it has multiplied and refined my enjoy- 
ments; it has endeared solitude ; and it has given me the habit 
of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that 
meets and surrounds me. 

s. t. a 



EAELY POEMS.— 1803, 



DEDICATION 

TO THE REVEREND GEORGE COLERIDGE, OP OTTERT 
ST. MARY, DEVON. 

Notus in fratres animi paterni. 

Hor. Carm. lib. ii. 2. 

A blessed lot hath he, who having past 
'His youth and early manhood in the stir 
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length, 
With cares that move, not agitate the heart, 
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt ; 
And haply views his tottering little ones 
Embrace those aged knees, and climb that lap, 
On which first kneeling his own infancy 
Lisped its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest friend I 
Thine and thy brothers' favorable lot. 
At distance did ye climb life's upland road, 
Yet cheered and cheering : now fraternal love 
Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days 
Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live ! 

To me th' Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed 
A different fortune and more different mind. — 
Me from the spot where first I sprang to light, 
Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fixed 
Its first domestic loves : and hence through life 
Chasing chance-started friendships. A brief while 
Some have preserved me from life's pelting ills ; 
But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem, 
If the clouds lasted, or a sudden breeze 
Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once 
Dropt the collected shower : and some most false, 
False and fair-foliaged as the manchineel, 



28 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Have tempted me to slumber in their shade 

E'en mid the storm ; then breathing subtlest damps, 

Mixed their own venom with the rain from heaven, 

That I woke poisoned ! But (the praise be His 

Who gives us all things) more have yielded me 

Permanent shelter : and beside one friend, 

I, as beneath the covert of an oak, 

Have raised a lowly shed, and know the names 

Of husband and of father ; nor unhearing 

Of that divine and nightly- whispering voice, 

Which from my childhood to maturer years 

Spake to me of predestinated wreaths, 

Bright with no fading colors ! 

Yet at times 
My soul is sad, that I have roamed through life 
Still most a stranger, most with naked heart, 
At mine own home and birth-place : chiefly then, 
When I remember thee, my earliest friend ! 
Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth ; 
Didst trace my wanderings with a father's eye ; 
And, boding evil yet still hoping good, 
Rebuked each fault and wept o'er all my woes. 
Who counts the beatings of the lonely heart, 
That Being knows, how I have loved thee ever, 
Loved as a brother, as a son revered thee ! 
O 'tis to me an ever new delight, 
To talk of thee and thine ; or when the blast 
Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash, 
Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl ; 
Or when, as now, on some delicious eve, 
We in our sweet sequestered orchard-plot 
Sit on the tree crooked earthward ; whose old boughs, 
That hang above us in an arborous roof, 
Stirred by the faint gale of departing May, 
Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads ! 

Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, 
When with the joy of hope thou gav'st thine ear 
To my wild firstling lays. Since then my song 
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem 
Of that sad wisdom, folly leaves behind j 
Or the high raptures of prophetic faith ; 
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times, 
Cope with the tempest's swell ! 

These various songs, 
Which I have framed in many a various mood, 



EARL V POEMS. 29 



Accept, my brother ; and (for some perchance 

Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) 

If aught of error or intemperate truth 

Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age 

Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it 1 



SONGS OF THE PIXIES. 

Hie Pixies, in the superstition of Devonshire, are a race of beings invisibly small, and 
harmless or friendly to man. At a small distance from a village in that county, 
half-way up a wood-covered hill, is an excavation, called the Pixies' parlor. The 
roots of old trees form its ceiling ; and on its sides are innumerable ciphers, among 
which the author discovered his own cipher and those of his brothers, cut by the hand 
of their childhood. At the foot of the hill flows the river Otter. 

To this place the author conducted a party of young ladies, during the summer 
months of the year 1793 ; one of whom, of stature elegantly small, and of complexion 
colorless yet clear, was proclaimed the Fairy Queen : on which occasion, and at 
which time, the following irregular ode was written. 

I. 

Whom the untaught shepherds call 

Pixies in their madrigal, 
Fancy's children, here we dwell : 

Welcome, ladies ! to our cell. 
Here the wren of softest note 

Builds its nest and warbles well ; 
Here the blackbird strains his throat : 
Welcome, ladies .' to our cell. 
11. 
When fades the moon all shadowy-pale, 
And scuds the cloud before the gale, 
Ere morn with living gems bedight 
Streaks the east with purple light, 
We sip the furze-flower's fragrant dews, 
Clad in robes of rainbow hues 
Richer than the deepened bloom 
That glows on summer's scented plume; 
Or sport amid the rosy gleam 
Soothed by the distant-tinkling team, 
While lusty labor scouting sorrow 
Bids the dame a glad good-morrow, 
Who jogs th' accustomed road along, 
And paces cheery to her cheering song, 
in. 
But not our filmy pinion 
We scorch amid the blaze of day, 
When noontide's fiery-tressed minion 
Flashes the fervid ray. 



30 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Aye from the sultry heat 

We to the cave retreat, 
O'ercanopied by huge roots intertwined 
With wildest texture, blackened o'er with age : 
Round them their mantle green the ivies bind, 

Beneath whose foliage pale 

Fanned by the unfrequent gale 
We shield us from the tyrant's mid-day rage. 

IV. 

Thither, while the murm'ring throng 
Of wild-bees hum their drowsy song, 
By indolence and fancy brought, 
A youthful bard, ' unknown to fame,' 
Woos the queen of solemn thought, 
And heaves the gentle mis'ry of a sigh 
Gazing with tearful eye, 
As round our sandy grot appear 
Many a rudely sculptured name 
To pensive mem'ry dear ! 
Weaving gay dreams of sunny- tinctured hue 

We glance before his view : 
O'er his hushed soul our soothing witch'ries shed, 
And twine our fairy garlands round his head. 
v. 
When evening's dusky car 
Crowned with her dewy star 
Steals o'er the fading sky in shadowy flight ; 
On leaves of aspen trees 
We tremble to the breeze, 
Veiled from the grosser ken of mortal sight, 

Or, haply, at the visionary hour, 
Along our wild sequestered walk, 
We listen to th' enamoured rustic's talk ; 
Heave with the heavings of the maiden's breast, 
Where young-eyed loves have built their turtle nest ; 
Or guide of soul-subduing power 
Th' electric flash, that from the melting eye 
Darts the fond question and the soft reply. 

VI. 

Or thro' the mystic ringlets of the vale 
We flash our fairy feet in gamesome prank ; 
Or, silent-sandalled, pay our defter court 
Circling the spirit of the western gale, 
Where, wearied with his flower-caressing sport, 
Supine he slumbers on a violet bank ; 



EARLY POEMS. 3 1 



Then with quaint music hymn the parting gleam. 
By lonely Otter's sleep-persuading stream ; 
Or where his wave with loud unquiet song 
Dashed o'er the rocky channel froths along ; 
Or where, his silver waters smoothed to rest, 
The tall tree's shadow sleeps upon his breast. 

VII. 

Hence ! thou lingerer, light ! 

Eve saddens into night. 
Mother of wildly- working dreams ! we view 
The sombre hours, that round thee stand 
With down-cast eyes (a duteous band !) 
Their dark robes dripping with the heavy dew 

Sorceress of the ebon throne ! 

Thy power the Pixies own, 

When round thy raven brow 

Heaven's lucent roses glow, 
And clouds, in wat'ry colors drest, 
Float in light drapery o'er thy sable vest; 
What time the pale moon sheds a softer day, 
Mellowing the woods beneath its pensive beam : 
For mid the quiv'ring light 'tis ours to play, 
Aye dancing to the cadence of the stream. 

VIII. 

Welcome, ladies ! to the cell, 
Where the blameless Pixies dwell, 
But thou, sweet nymph ! proclaimed our fairy queen, 
With what obeisance meet 
Thy presence shall we greet ? 
For lo ! attendant on thy steps are seen 
Graceful ease in artless stole, 
And white-robed purity of soul, 
With honor's softer mien : 
Mirth of the loosely-flowing hair, 
And meek-eyed pity eloquently fair, 

Whose tearful cheeks are lovely to the view, 
As snow-drop wet with dew. 

IX. 

TJnboastful Maid ! tho' now the lily pale 
Transparent grace thy beauties meek ; 
Yet ere again along th' impurpling vale, 
The purpling vale and elfin-haunted grove, 
Young Zephyr his fresh flowers profusely throws, 

We'll tinge with livelier hues thy cheek ; 
And haply from the nectar-breathing rose 
Extract a blush for love ! 



3 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



THE ROSE. 

As late each flower that sweetest blows 
I plucked, the garden's pride ! 

Within the petals of a rose 
A sleeping Love I spied. 

Around his brows a beamy wreath 

Of many a lucent hue ; 
All purple glowed his cheek, beneath, 

Inebriate with dewi. 

I softly seized th' unguarded power, 

Nor scared his balmy rest ; 
And placed him, caged within the flow«r, 

On spotless Sara's breast. 

But when unweeting of the guile 

Awoke the pris'ner sweet, 
He struggled to escape awhile 

And stamped his fairy feet. 

Ah ! soon the soul-entrancing sight 

Subdued th' impatient boy ! 
Ee gazed ! he thrilled with deep delight I 

Then clapped his wings for joy. 

And oh ! he cried — ' Of magic kind 
What charms this throne endear I 

Some other Love let Venus find — 
I'll fix ray empire here' 



KISSES. 



Cupid, if storying* legends tell aright, 

Once framed a rich elixir of delight. 

A chalice o'er love-kindled flames he fixed, 

And in it nectar and ambrosia mixed : 

With these the magic dews which evening brings, 

Brushed from the Idalian star by fairy wings : 



* Effinxit quondam blandum meditata 

laborem 
Basia lasciva Cypria diva manu. 
Ambrosia; succos occulta temperat arte, 
Fragransque iufuso nectare tin git 
opus. [oli'm 

Sufficit et partem mellis, quod subdolus 
Nou impune favis surripuisset amor. 



Decussos violse foliis admiscet odores, 

Et spolia aestivis plurima rapta rosis. 
Addit et illecebras et mile et mille lepores, 

Et quotacidalius gaudia cestus habet. 
Ex bis composuit dea basia ; et omnia 
libans 
Invenias nitidse sparsa per ora Cloes. 

Carm. Quad. toI. ii 



EARLY POEMS. 33 



Each tender pledge of sacred faith he joined, 

Each gentler pleasure of th' unspotted mind — 

Day-dreams, whose tints with sportive brightness glow, 

And hope, the blameless parasite of woe. 

The eyeless chemist heard the process rise, 

The steamy chalice bubbled up in sighs ; 

Sweet sounds transpired as when the enamoured dove 

Pours the soft murmuring of responsive love. 

The finished work might envy vainly blame, 

And ' kisses ' was the precious compound's name. 

With half, the god his Cyprian mother blest, 

And breathed on Sara's lovelier lips the rest. 



TO SARA. 

One kiss, dear maid ! I said and sighed — 
Your scorn the little boon denied. 
Ah why refuse the blameless bliss ? 
Can danger lurk within a kiss ? 

Yon viewless wand'rer of the vale, 
The spirit of the western gale, 
At morning's break, at evening's close, 
Inhales the sweetness of the rose, 
And hovers o'er th' uninjured bloom 
Sighing back the soft perfume. 
Vigor to the zephyr's wing 
Her nectar-breathing kisses fling; 
And he the glitter of the dew 
Scatters on the rose's hue. 
Bashful, lo ! she bends her head, 
And darts a blush of deeper red I 

Too well those lovely lips disclose 
The triumphs of the op'ning rose : 
O fair ! O graceful ! bid them prove 
As passive to the breath of love. 
In tender accents, faint and low, 
Well-pleased I hear the whispered ' No ! * 

The whispered • No ' how little meant ! 

Sweet falsehood, that endears consent ! 
For on those lovely lips the while 
Dawns the soft relenting smile, 
And tempts with feigned dissuasion coy 
The gentle violence of joy. 



34 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



THE SIGH. 



When youth his fairy reign began, 
Ere sorrow had proclaimed me man ; 
While peace the present hour beguiled, 
And all the lovely prospect smiled ; 
Then, Mary ! 'mid my lightsome glee 
I heaved the painless sigh for thee. 

II. 
And when, as tossed on waves of woe, 
My harassed heart was doomed to know 
The frantic burst, the outrage keen, 
And the slow pang that gnaws unseen ; 
Then shipwrecked on life's stormy sea, 
I heaved an anguish'd sigh for thee ! 

in. 
But soon reflection's power imprest 
A stiller sadness on my breast ; 
And sickly hope with waning eye 
Was well content to droop and die : 
I yielded to the stern decree, 
Yet heaved a languid sigh for thee ! 

IV. 

And tho' in distant climes to roam, 
A wanderer from my native home, 
I feign would soothe the sense of care 
And lull to sleep the joys, that were ! 
Thy image may not banished be — 
Still, Mary ! still I sigh for thee. 

GENEVIEVE. 

Maid of my love ! sweet Genevieve ! * ' 
In beauty's light you glide along : 
Tour eye is like the star of eve, 
And sweet your voice, as seraph's song. 
Yet not your heavenly beauty gives 
This heart with passion soft to glow : 
Within your soul a voice there lives ! 
It bids you hear the tale of woe. 



* This little poem was written when the author was a boy. 



EARLY POEMS. 35 



When sinking low the suff'rer wan 
Beholds no hand outstretched to save, 
Fair, as the bosom of the swan 
That rises graceful o'er the wave, 
I've seen your breast with pity heave 
And therefore love I you, sweet Genevieve! 



ABSENCE.— A FAREWELL ODE. 

Where graced with many a classic spoil 
Cam rolls his reverend stream along, 
I haste to urge the learned toil 
That sternly chides my love-lorn song : 
Ah me ! too mindful of the days 
Illumed by passion's orient rays, 
When peace, and cheerfulness, and health 
Enriched me with the best of wealth. 

Ah, fair delights ! that o'er my soul 
On mem'ry's wing, like shadows, fly ! 
Ah, flowers ! which joy from Eden stole 
While innocence stood smiling by ! — 
But cease, fond heart ! this bootless moan. 
Those hours on rapid pinions flown 
Shall yet return, by absence crowned, 
And scatter livelier roses round. 

The sun, who ne'er remits his fires, 
On heedless eyes may pour the day : 
The moon, that oft from heaven retires, 
Endears her renovated ray. 
What tho' she leave the sky unblest 
To mourn awhile in murky vest ? 
When she relumes her lovely light, 
We bless the wanderer of the night. 



LINES TO A BEAUTIFUL SPRING IN A VILLAGE. 

Once more, sweet stream ! with slow foot wand'ring near, 
I bless thy milky waters cold and clear. 
Escaped the flashing of the noontide hours, 
With one fresh garland of Pierian flowers 



36 COLERIDGE'S POEMS 

(Ere from thy zephyr-haunted brink I turn) 
My languid hand shall wreath thy mossy urn. 
For not thro' pathless grove with murmur rude 
Thou soothest the sad wood-nymph, solitude : 
Nor thine unseen in cavern depths to well, 
The hermit-fountain of some dripping cell ! 
Pride of the vale ! thy useful streams supply 
The scattered cots and peaceful hamlet nigh. 
The elfin tribe around thy friendly banks 
With infant uproar and soul-soothing pranks, 
Released from school, their little hearts at rest, 
Launch paper navies on thy waveless breast. 
The rustic here at eve with pensive look 
Whistling lorn ditties leans upon his crook. 
Or starting pauses with hope-mingled dread 
To list the much-loved maid's accustoin'd tread: 
She, vainly mindful of her dame's command, 
Loiters, the long-filled pitcher in her hand. 
Unboastful stream ! thy fount with pebbled falls 
The faded form of past delight recalls, 
What time the morning sun of hope arose, 
And all was joy ; save when another's woes 
. A transient gloom upon my soul imprest, 
Like passing clouds impictured on thy breast. 
' Life's current then ran sparkling to the noon, 
Or silvery stole beneath the pensive moon : 
Ah ! now it works rude brakes and thorns among, 
Or o'er the rough rock bursts and foams along ! 



WRITTEN IN EARLY YOUTH. 

The Time,— AN AUTUMNAL EVENING. 

O thou wild fancy, check thy wing ! No more 

Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore f 

Nor there with happy spirits speed thy flight 

Bathed in rich amber-glowing floods of light ; 

Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day, 

With western peasants hail the morning ray ! 

Ah ! rather bid the perished pleasures move, 

A shadowy train, across the soul of love ! 

O'er disappointment's wintry desert fling 

Each ilower that wreathed the dewy locks of Spring, 



EARL Y POEMS. 37 



When blushing, like a bride, from hope's trim bower 
She leapt, awakened by the pattering shower. 

Now sheds the sinking sun a deeper gleam, 
Aid, lovely sorceress ! aid thy poet's dream ! 
With fairy Avand O bid the maid arise, 
Chaste joyance dancing in her bright blue eyes ; 
As erst when from the Muses' calm abode 
I came, with learning's meed not unbestowed : 
When, as she twined a laurel round my brow, 
And met my kiss, and half returned my vow, 
O'er all my frame shot rapid my thrilled heart, 
And every nerve confessed the electric dart. 

dear deceit ! I see the maiden rise, 

Chaste joyance dancing in her bright blue eyes, 
When first the lark high-soaring swells his throat 
Mocks the tired eye, and scatters the loud note, 

1 trace her footsteps on the accust omed lawn, 
I mark her glancing mid the gleams of dawn. 
When the bent flower beneath the night-dew weeps, 
And on the lake the silver lustre sleeps, 

Amid the paly radiance soft and sad 
She meets my lonely path in moon-beams clad. 
With her along the streamlet's brink I rove ; 
With her I list the warblings of the grove ; 
And seems in each low wind her voice to float 
Lone-whispering pity in each soothing note ! 

Spirits of love ! ye heard her name ! Obey 
The powerful spell, and to my haunt repair, 
Whither on clust'ring pinions ye are there, 
Where rich snows blossom on the myrtle trees, 
Or with fond languishment around my fair 
Sigh in the loose luxuriance of her hair ; 
O heed the spell, and hither wing your way, 
Like far-off music, voyaging the breeze ! 
Spirits ! to you the infant maid was given, 
Formed by the wondrous alchemy of Heaven! 
No fairer maid does love's wide empire know, 
No fairer maid e'er heaved the bosom's snow. 
A thousand loves around her forehead fly ; 
A thousand loves sit melting in her eye ; 
Love lights her smile— in joy's bright nectar dip* 
The flamy rose, and plants it on her lips ! 
Tender, serene, and all devoid of guile, 
S >ft is her soul, as sleeping infant's smile : 



3 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



She speaks ! and hark that passion-warbled song — 

Still, fancy ! still those mazy notes prolong. 

Sweet as th/ angelic harps, whose rapturous falls 

Awake the softened echoes of heaven's halls ! 

O (have I sighed) were mine the wizard's rod, 

Or mine the power of Proteus, changeful god ! 

A flower-entangled arbor I would seem 

To shield my love from noontide's sultry beam : 

Or bloom a myrtle, from whose od'rous boughs 

My love might weave gay garlands for her brows. 

When twilight stole across the fading vale, 

To fan my love I'd be the evening gale ; 

Mourn in the soft folds of her swelling vest, 

And flutter my faint pinions on her breast ! 

On seraph wing I'd float a dream, by night, 

To soothe my love with shadows of delight : — 

Or soar aloft to be the spangled skies, 

And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes I 

As when the savage, who his dowsy frame 
Had basked beneath the sun's unclouded flame, 
Awakes amid the troubles of the air, 
The skyey deluge, and white lightning's glare — 
Aghast he scours before the tempest's sweep, 
And sad recalls the sunny hour of sleep : — 
So tost by storms along life's wild'ring way 
Mine eye reverted views that cloudless day, 
When by my native brook I wont to rove 
While hope with kisses nursed the infant love. 

Dear native brook ! like peace, so placidly 
Smoothing thro' fertile fields thy current meek ! 
Dear native brook ! where first young poesy 
Stared wildly-eager in her noontide dream, 
Where blameless pleasures dimple quiet's cheek, 
As water-lilies ripple a slow stream ! 
Dear native haunts ! where virtue still is gay : 
Where friendship's fixed star sheds a mellowed ray 
Where love a crown of thornless roses wears : 
Where softened sorrow smiles within her tears ; 
And mem'ry, with a vestal's chaste employ, 
Unceasing feeds the lambent flame of joy ! 
No more your skylarks melting from the sight 
Shall thrill th' attuned heart-string with delight : - 
No more shall deck your pensive pleasures sweet 
With wreaths of sober hue my evening seat. 



EARL Y POEMS. 39 



Yet dear to fancy's eye your varied scene 

Of wood, hill, dale, and sparkling brook between ! 

Yet sweet to fancy's ear the warbled song, 

That soars on morning's wing your vales among. 

Scenes of my hope ! the aching eye ye leave 
Like yon bright hues that paint the clouds of eve ! 
Tearful and sadd'ning with the saddened blaze 
Mine eye the gleam pursues with wistful gaze ; 
Sees shades on shades with deeper tint impend, 
Till chill and damp the moonless night descend. 



TO A YOUNG LADY. 



WITH A POEM 02* THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 

Much on my early youth I love to dwell, 

Ere yet I bade that friendly dome farewell, 

Where first, beneath the echoing cloisters, pale, 

I heard of guilt and wondered at the tale ! 

Yet tho' the hours flew by on careless wing, 

Full heavily of sorrow would I sing. 

Aye as the star of evening flung its beam 

In broken radiance on the wavy stream, 

My soul amid the pensive twilight gloom 

Mourned with the breeze, O, Lee Boo ! * o'er thy tomb. 

Where'er I wandered, pity still was near, 

Breathed from the heart and glistened in the tear : 

No knell that tolled, but filled my anxious eye, 

And suffering nature wept that one should die ! f 

Thus to sad sympathies I soothed my breast, 

Calm, as the rainbow in the weeping west : 

When slumb'ring freedom roused by high disdain 

With giant fury burst her triple chain ! 

Fierce on her front the blasting dog-star glowed ; 

Her banners like a midnight meteor flowed ; 

Amid the yelling of the storm-rent skies 

She came, and scattered battles from her eyes ! 

* Lee Boo, the son of Abba Thule, prince of the Pelew Islands, came over to 
England with Captain Wilson, died of the small-pox, and is buried in Greenwich 
«hurch-yard. 

t Southey's Retrospect. 



40 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Then exultation waked the patriot fire 
And swept with wilder hand the Alcaean lyre : 
Red from the tyrant's wound I shook the lance, 
And strode in joy the reeking plains of France ! 
FalFn is th' oppressor, friendless, ghastly, low, 
And my heart aches tho' mercy struck the blow. 
With wearied thought once more I see the shade, 
Where peaceful virtue weaves the myrtle braid. 
And O ! if eyes, whose holy glances roll, 
Swift messengers, and eloquent of soul ; 
If smiles more winning, and a gentler mien, 
Than the love-wildered maniac's brain hath seen 
Shaping celestial forms in vacant air, 
If these demand th' impassioned poet's care— 
If mirth, and softened sense, and wit refined, 
The blameless features of a lovely mind ; 
Then haply shall my trembling hand assign 
No fading wreath to beauty's saintly shrine. 

Nor. Sara ! thou these early flowers refuse 

Ne'er lurked the snake beneath their simple hues, 
No purple bloom the child of nature brings 
From flatt'ry's night-shade : as he feels, he sings. 

September, 1794. 



IMITATED FROM OSSIAN* 

The stream with languid murmur creeps, 

In Lumin's flowery vale : 
Beneath the dew the lily weeps, 
Slow- waving to the gale. 

' Cease, restless gaje ! ' it seems to say, 
' Nor wake me with thy sighing ; 

The honors of my vernal day 
On rapid wing are flying. 

* To-morrow shall the trav'ller come 
Who late beheld me blooming : 

His searching eye shall vainly roam 
The dreary vale of Lumin.' 



* The flower hangs its head waving at times to the gale. Why dost thou awake me, 
O gale ! it seems to say, I am covered with the drops of heaven. The time of my 
fading is near, the blast that shall scatter my leaves. To-morrow shall the traveller 
come, he that saw me in my beauty shall come. His eyes will search the field, they 
will not find me. So shall they search in vain for the voice of Cona, after it has failed 
in the field.— Bcrrathon: see Ossian's Poems. 



EARLY POEMS. 41 



With eager gaze and wetted cheek 

My wonted haunts along, 
Thus, faithful maiden ! thou shalt seek 

The youth of simplest song. 

But I along the breeze shall roll 

The voice of feeble power ; 
And dwell, the moon-beam of thy soul, 

In slumber's nightly hour. 



THE COMPLAINT OF JSTHSTATHOMA.* 

How long will ye round me be swelling, 

O ye blue-tumbling waves of the sea ? 
Not always in caves was my dwelling, 

Nor beneath the cold blast of the tree. 
Thro* the high-sounding halls of Cathloma 

In the steps of my beauty I stray'd ; 
The warriors beheld Ninathoma, 

And they blessed the white-bosomed maid ! 
A ghost ! by my cavern it darted 1 

In moon-beams the spirit was drest — 
For lovely appear the departed 

When they visit the dreams of my rest ! 
But disturbed by the tempest's commotion 

Fleet the shadowy forms of delight — 
Ah,- cease, thou shrill blast of the ocean ! 

To howl through my cavern by night. 



IMITATED FROM THE WELSH. 

If, while my passion I impart, 

You deem my words untrue, 
O place your hand upon my heart* 

Feel how it throbs for you! 

Ah no ! reject the thoughtless claim 

In pity to your lover ! 
That thrilling touch would aid the flame 

It wishes to discover. 



* How long will ye roll around me, blue-tumbling waters of ocean ? My dwelling 
was not always in caves, nor beneath the whistling tree. My feast was spread in 
Torthoma's hall. The youths beheld me in my loveliness. They blessed the dark- 
haired-Nina-thomi. — Berrathon. 



42 COLERIDGE'S POEMS 



TO A YOUNG ASS, 

ITS MOTHER BEING TETHERED NEAR IT. 

Poor little foal of an oppressed race ! 

I love the languid patience of thy face : 

And oft with gentle hand I give thee bread, 

And clap thy ragged coat, and pat thy head. 

But what thy dulled spirits hath dismayed, 

That never thou dost sport along the glade ? 

And (most unlike the nature of things young) 

That earth-ward still thy moveless head is hung ! 

Do thy prophetic fears anticipate, 

Meek child of misery ! thy future fate ? 

The starving meal, and all the thousand aches 

* Which patient merit of the unworthy takes ? ' 

Or is thy sad heart thrilled with filial pain 

To see thy wretched mother's shortened chain ? 

And truly, very piteous is her lot — 

Chained to a log within a narrow spot 

Where the close-eaten grass is scarcely seen, 

While sweet around her waves the tempting green \ 

Poor ass ! thy master should have learnt to show 

Pity — best taught by fellowship of woe ! 

For much I fear me, that he lives, like thee, . 

Half-famished in a land of luxury ! 

How askingly its footsteps hither bend ! 

It seems to say, ' And have I then one friend ? ' 

Innocent foal ! thou poor despised forlorn ! 

I hail thee brother — spite of the fool's scorn ! 

And fain would take thee with me, in the dell 

Of peace and mild equality to dwell, 

Where toil shall call the charmer health his bride, 

And laughter tickle plenty's ribless side ! 

How thou wouldst toss thy heels in gamesome play 

And frisk about, as lamb or kitten gay ! 

Yea ! and more musically sweet to me 

Thy dissonant harsh bray of joy would be, 

Than warbled melodies that soothe to rest 

The aching of pale fashion's vacant breast 1 



TO A.TSI WFANT. 

Ah cease thy tears and sobs, my little life ! 
I did but snatch away the unclasped knife : 
Some safer toy will soon arrest thine eye, 
And to quick laughter change this peevish cry ! 
Poor stumbler on the rocky coast of woe, 
Tutored by pain each source of pain to know. 
Alike the foodful fruit and scorching fire 
A. wake thy eager grasp and young desire : 
Alike the good, the ill offend thy sight, 
And rouse the stormy sense of shrill affright ! 
Untaught, yet wise ! mid all thy brief alarms 
Thou closely clingest to thy mother's arms, 
Nestling thy little face in that fond breast 
Whose anxious heavings lull thee to thy rest ! 
Man's breathing miniature ! thou mak'st me sigh — 
A babe art thou — and such a thing am I ! 

To anger rapid and as soon appeased, 

For trifles mourning and by trifles pleased ; 

Break friendship's mirror with a tetchy blow, 

Yet snatch what coals of fire on pleasure's altar glow ! 

Oh thou that rearest with celestial aim 

The future seraph in my mortal frame, 

Thrice holy Faith ! whatever thorns I meet 

As on I totter with unpractised feet, 

Still let me stretch my arms and cling to thee, 

Meek nurse of souls through their long infancy t 



EPITAPH ON AN INFANT. 



Erk sin could blight or sorrow fade, 
Death came with friendly care ; 

The opening bud to Heaven conveyed 
And bade it blossom there. 



44 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



DOMESTIC PEACE. 

Tell me, on what holy ground 
May domestic peace be found ? 
Halcyon daughter of the skies, 
Far on fearful wings she flies 
Prom the pomp of sceptred state, 
From the rebel's noisy hate. 
In a cottaged vale she dwells, 
List'ning to the sabbath bells ! 
Still around her steps are seen 
Spotless honor's meeker mien. 
Love, the sire of pleasing fears, 
Sorrow smiling through her tears, 
And, conscious of the past employ, 
Memory, bosom-spring of joy. 



LIN «S WRITTEN AT THE KING'S-ARMS, ROSS, 

FORMERLY THE HOUSE OF THE ' MAN OF ROSS.' 

Richer than misers o'er their countless hoards, 

Nobler than kings, or king-polluted lords, 

Here dwelt the man of Ross ! O trav'ller, hear, 

Departed merit claims a reverent tear. 

If 'neath this roof thy wine-cheered moments pass, 

Fill to the good man's name one grateful glass : 

To higher zest shall mem'ry wake thy soul, 

And virtue mingle in th' ennobled bowl. 

But if, like mine, thro' life's distressful scene 

Lonely and sad thy pilgrimage hath been ; 

And if, thy breast with heart-sick anguish fraught, 

Thou journeyest onward ternpest-tost in thought ; 

Here cheat thy cares ! in generous visions melt, 

And dream of goodness thou hast never felt ! 



TO A FRIEND ; * 

WITH AN UNFINISHED POEM. 

Thus far my scanty brain hath built the rhyme 

Elaborate and swelling : yet the heart 

Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers 

I ask not now, my friend ! the aiding verse, 

Tedious to thee, and from thy anxious thought 

Of dissonant mood. In fancy (well I know) 

From business wand'ring far and local cares, 

Thou creepest round a dear-loved sister's bed 

With noiseless step, and watchest the faint look, 

Soothing each pang with fond solicitude, 

And tenderest tones medicinal of love, 

I too a sister had, an only sister — 

She loved me dearly, and I doted on her ! 

To her I poured forth all my puny sorrows 

(As a sick patient in his nurse's arms), 

And of the heart those hidden maladies 

That even from friendship's eye will shrink ashamed, 

O ! I have woke at midnight, and have wept, 

Because she was not ! — Cheerily, dear Charles I 

Thou thy best friend shalt cherish many a year : 

Such warm presagings feel I of high hope. 

For not uninterested the dear maid 

I've viewed — her soul affectionate yet wise, 

Her polished wit as mild as lambent glories, 

That play around a sainted infant's head. 

He knows (the Spirit that in secret sees, 

Of whose omniscient and all-spreading love 

Aught to implore f were impotence of mind) 

That my mute thoughts are sad before His throne, 

Prepared, when He His healing ray vouchsafes, 

To pour forth thanksgiving with lifted heart, 

And praise Him gracious with a brother's joy ! 

December, 1794. 

* Charles Lamb. 

1 1 utterly recant the sentiment contained in the lines— 

Of whose omniscient and all-spreading love 
Aught to implore were impotence of mind, 

It being written in Scripture, ' Ask, and it shall be given you,' and my human reason 
being moreover convinced of the propriety of offering petitions as well as thanks- 
giving to Deity. 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



LINES ON A FRIEND, 

WHO DIED OF A FRENZY FEVER, INDUCED BY CALUMNIOUS 
REPORTS. 

Edmund ! thy grave with aching eye I scan, 

And inly groan for heaven's poor outcast, man ! . 

'Tis tempest all or gloom : in early youth, 

If gifted Avith the Ithuriel lance of truth, 

We force to start amid her feigned caress 

Vice, siren-hag ! in native ugliness, 

A brother's fate will haply rouse the tear : 

Onward we move in heaviness and fear ! 

But if our fond hearts call to pleasure's bower 

Some pigmy folly in a careless hour, 

The faithless guest shall stamp th' enchanted ground 

And mingled forms of mis'ry rise around : 

Heart-fretting fear, with pallid look aghast, 

That courts the future woe to hide the past ; 

Remorse, the poisoned arrow in his side ; 

And loud lewd mirth, to anguish close allied : 

Till frenzy, fierce-eyed child of moping pain, 

Darts her hot lightning flash athwart the brain. 

Rest, injured shade \ Shall slander squatting neai 
Spit her cold venom in a dead man's ear ? 
'Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow 
In merit's joy, and poverty's meek woe ; 
Thine all, that cheer the moment as it flies, 
The zoneless cares, and smiling courtesies. 
Nursed in thy heart the firmer virtues grew, 
And in thy heart they withered ! Such chill dew 
Wan indolence on each young blossom shed ; 
And vanity her filmy net-work spread, 
With eye that rolled around in asking gaze. 
And tongue that trafficked in the trade of praise. 
Thy follies such ! the hard world mark'd them well- 
Were they more wise, the proud who never fell ? 

Rest, injured shade ! the poor man's grateful prayer 
On heaven- ward wing thy wounded soul shall bear. 
As oft at twilight gloom thy grave I pass, 
And oft sit down upon its recent grass, 
With introverted eye I contemplate 
Similitude of soul, perhaps of —fate ! 



EARL Y POEMS. 47 



To me hath Heaven with bounteous hand assign'd 
Energic reason and a shaping mind, 
The daring ken of truth, the patriot's part, 
And pity's sigh, that breathes the gentle heart — 
Sloth-jaundiced all ! and from my graspless hand 
Drop friendship's precious pearls, like hour-glass sand. 
I weep, yet stoop not ! the faint anguish flows, 
A dreamy pang in morning's fev'rish doze. 

Is this piled earth our being's passless mound ? 
Tell me, cold grave ! is death with poppies crown'd ? 
Tired sentinel ! mid fitful starts I nod. 
And fain would sleep, though pillowed on a clod ! 



MONODY ON THE DEATH OF CHATTERTON. 

When faint and sad o'er sorrow's desert wild 
Slow journeys onward poor misfortune's child ; 
When fades each lovely form by .fancy drest, 
And inly pines the self-consuming breast ; 
(No scourge of scorpions in thy right arm dread. 
No helmed terrors nodding o'er thy head ;) 
Assume, O death ! the cherub wings of peace, 
And bid the heart-sick wanderer's anguish cease I 

Thee, Chatterton ! yon unblest stones protect 
From want, and the bleak freezings of neglect I 
Escaped the sore wounds of affliction's rod, 
Meek at the throne of mercy, and of God, 
Perchance, thou raisest high th' enraptured hymn 
Amid the blaze of seraphin ! 

Yet oft ('tis nature's call) 

I weep, that heaven-born genius so should fall ; 

And oft, in fancy's saddest hour, my soul 

Averted shudders at the poisoned bowl. 

Now groans my sickening heart, as still I view 

Thy corse of livid hue ; 
And now a flash of indignation high 
Darts thro' the tear, that glistens in mine eye 1 

Is this the land of song-ennobled line ? 
Is this the land, where genius ne'er in vain 
Pour'd forth his lofty strain ? 
• Ah me ! yet Spenser, gentlest bard divine, 



45 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Beneath chill disappointment's shade, 
His weary limbs in lonely anguish laid, 

And o'er her darling dead 

Pity hopeless hung her head, 
While 'mid the pelting of that merciless storm, 
Sunk to the cold earth Otway's famished form ! 

Sublime of thought, and confident of fame 
From vales where Avon winds the minstrel * came. 
Lighted-hearted youth ! he hastes along, 

And meditates the future song, 
How dauntless iElla fray'd the Dacian foes : 
See, as floating high in air 
Glitter the sunny visions fair, 
His eyes dance rapture, and his bosom glows ? 

Ah ! where are fled the charms of vernal grace, 
And joy's wild gleams, light-flashing o'er thy face ( 
Youth of tumultuous soul, and haggard eye ! 
Thy wasted form, thy hurried steps I view, 
On thy cold forehead starts the anguished dew : 
And dreadful was that bosom-rending sigh ! 

Such were the struggles of that gloomy hour, 

When care, of withered brow, 
Prepared the poison's power : 
Already to thy lips was raised the bowl. 
When near thee stood affection meek 
(Her bosom bare, and wildly pale her cheek) 
Thy sullen gaze she bade thee roll 
On scenes that well might melt thy soul ; 
Thy native cot she flashed upon thy view, 
Thy native cot, where still, at close of day, 
Peace smiling sate, and listened to thy lay ; 
Thy sister's shrieks she bade thee hear, 
And mark thy mother's tear ; 

See, see her breast's convulsive throe, 
Her silent agony of woe ! 
Ah ! dash the poisoned chalice from thy hand ! 

And thou hadst dashed it, at her soft command, 
But that despair and indignation rose, 
And told again the story of thy woes ; • 
Told the keen insult of th' unfeeling heart ; 
The dread dependence on the low-born mind ; 

* Avon, a river near Bristol ; the birth-place of Chatterton. 



EARL Y POEMS. 49 



Told ev'ry pang, with which thy soul must smart. 
Neglect, and grinning scorn, and want combined ! 
Recoiling quick, thou bad'st the friend of pain 
Roll the black tide of death thro' every freezing vein I 

Ye woods ! that wave o'er Avon's rocky steep, 
To fancy's ear sweet is your murm'ring deep ! 
For here she loves the cypress wreath to weave ; 
Watching, with wistful eye, the sadd'ning tints of eve. 
Here, far from men, amid this pathless grove, 
In solemn thought the minstrel wont to rove, 
Like star-beam on the slow sequestered tide 
Lone-glittering, thro' the high tree branching wide. 
And here, in inspiration's eager hour, 
When most the big soul feels the madd'ning power, 
These wilds, these caverns roaming o'er, 
Round which the screaming sea-gulls soar, 
With wild unequal steps he passed along, 
Oft pouring on the winds a broken song : 
Anon, upon some rough rock's fearful brow 
Would pause abrupt — and gaze upon the waves below. 

Poor Chatterton ! he sorrows for thy fate 

Who would have praised and loved thee, ere too late. 

Poor Chatterton ! farewell ! of darkest hues 

This chaplet cast I on thy shapeless tomb j 

But dare no longer on the sad theme muse, 

Lest kindred woes persuade a kindred doom ! 

Hence, gloomy thoughts ! no more my soul shall dwell 

On joys that were ! No more endure to weigh 

The shame and anguish of the evil day, 

Wisely forgetful ! O'er the ocean swell 

Sublime of hope I seek the cottaged dell 

Where virtue calm with careless step may stray ; 

And, dancing to the moonlight roundelay, 

The wizard passions weave an holy spell ! 

O Chatterton ! that thou w^rt yet alive ! 

Sure thou would' st spread the canvas to the gale, 

And love., with us, the tinkling team to drive 

O'er peaceful freedom's undivided dale ; 

And we, at sober eve, would round thee throng, 

Hanging, enraptured, on thy stately song ! 

And greet with smiles the young-eyed poesy 

AH deftly mask'd, as hoar antiquity. 



50 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Alas, vain phantasies ! the fleeting brood 

Of woe self-solaced in her dreamy mood ! 

Yet will I love to follow the sweet dream, 

Where Susquehannah pours his untamed stream ; * 

And on some hill, whose forest-frowning side 

Waves o'er the murmurs of his calmer tide, 

Will raise a solemn cenotaph to thee, 

Sweet harper of time-shrouded minstrelsy ! 

And there, soothed sadly by the dirgeful wind, 

Muse on the sore ills I had left behind. 



TO THE NIGHTINGALE. 

Sister of love-lorn poets, Philomel ! 
How many bards in city garret pent, 
While at their window they with downward eye 
Mark the faint lamp-beam on the kennelled mud, 
And listen to the drowsy cry of watchmen, 
(Those hoarse unfeathered nightingales of time !) 
How many wretched bards address thy name, 
And hers, the full-orbed queen that shines above 
But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark, 
Within whose mild moon-mellowed foliage hid , 
Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains. 
Oh ! I have listened, till my working soul. 
Waked by those strains to thousand phantasies, 
Absorbed hath ceased to listen ! Therefore oft, 
I hymn thy name : and with a proud delight 
Oft will I tell thee, minstrel of the moon ! 
' Most musical, most melancholy ' bird ! 
That all thy soft diversities of tone, 
Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs 
That vibrate from a white-arm'd lady's harp, 
What time the languishment of lonely love 
Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow, 
Are not so sweet as is the voice of her, 
My Sara — best beloved of human kind ! 
When breathing the pure soul of tenderness 
She thrills me with the husband's promised name ! 

# At this period Coleridge, with Southey, Wordsworth, and Lovell, contem plate*. 
the establishment of a Pantisocracy on the banks of the Susquehannah, 



EST THE MANNER OF SPENSER. 

peace, that on a lilied bank dost love 
To rest thine head beneath an olive tree, 

1 would that from the pinions of thy dove 
One quill withouten pain yplucked might be ! 
For oh ! I wish my Sara's frowns to flee, 

And fain to her some soothing song would write, 

Lest she resent my rude discourtesy, 

Who vowed to meet her ere the morning light, 

But 1 roke my plighted word — ah ! false and recreant wight ! 

Last night as I my weary head did pillow 

With thoughts of my dissevered fair engrossed, 

Chill fancy drooped, wreathing herself with willow. 

As tho' my breast entombed a pining ghost. 

' From some blest couch, young rapture's bridal boast, 

Rejected slumber ! hither wing thy way; 

But leave me with the matin hour, at most ! ' 

As night-closed floweret to the orient ray, 

My sad heart will expand, when I the maid survey. 

But Love, who ' heard the silence of my thought,' 

Contrived a too successful wile, I ween : 

And whispered to himself, with malice fraught — 

* Too long our slave the damsel's smiies hath seen : 

To-morrow shall he ken her altered mien ! ' 

He spake, and ambushed lay, till on my bed 

The morning shot her dewy glances keen, 

When as I 'gan uplift my drowsy head — 

1 Now, bard ! I'll work thee woe ! ' the laughing elfin said. 

Sleep, softly-breathing god ! his downy wing 

Was fluttering now, as quickly to depart ; 

When twanged an arrow from Love's mystic string, 

With pathless wound it pierced him to the heart. 

Was there some magic in the elfin's dart ? 

Or did he strike my couch with wizard lance ? 

For straight so fair a form did upwards start 

(No fairer deck'd the bowers of old romance) 

That sleep enamoured grew, nor moved from his sweet trance! 

My Sara came, with gentlest look divine ; 
Bright shone her eye, yet tender was its beam 
I fek the pressure of her lip to mine ! 
Whisp'ring we went, and love was all our theme — 



I? COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Love pure and spotless, as at first, I deem, 

He sprang from heaven ! Such joys with sleep did 'bide 

That 1 the living image of my dream 

Fondly forgot. Too late I woke, and sighed — 

* ! how shall I behold my love at even-tide ! ' 

TO THE AUTHOR OF POEMS,* 

Published anonymously at Bristol, in September, 1795. 

Unboastful bard ! whose verse concise yet clear 

Tunes to smooth melody unconquered sense, 

May your fame fadeless live, as ' never-sere ' 

The ivy wreathes yon oak, whose broad defence 

Embowers me from noon's sultry influence ! 

For, like that nameless riv'let stealing by, 

Your modest verse to musing quiet dear 

Is rich with tints heaven borrowed : the charmed eye 

Shall gaze undazzled there, and love the softened sky. 

Circling the base of the poetic mount 

A stream there is, which rolls in lazy flow 

Its coal-black waters from oblivion's fount : 

The vapor-poisoned birds that fly too low, 

Fall with dead swoop, and to the bottom go. 

Escaped that heavy stream on pinion fleet 

Beneath the mountain's lofty-frowning brow, 

Ere aught of perilous ascent you meet, 

A mead of mildest charm delays th' unlab'ring feet. 

Not there the cloud-climbed rock, sublime and vast, 
That, like some giant king, o'erglooms the hill ; 
Nor there the pine-grove to the midnight blast 
Makes solemn music ! but th' unceasing rill 
To the soft wren or lark's descending trill 
Murmurs sweet undersong 'mid jasmin bowers. 
In this same pleasant meadow, at your will, 
I ween, you wandered — there collecting flowers 
Of sober tint, and herbs of med'cinable powers ! 

There for the monarch-murdered soldier's tomb 
You wove th' unfinished wreath f of saddest hues ; 
And to that holier chaplet t added bloom 
Besprinkling it with Jordan's cleansing dews. 
But lo ! your Henderson § awakes the muse — 

»Mr. Joseph Cottle. * War, a Fragment. 

' John the Baptist, a Poem. § Monody on John Henderson. 



EARLY POEMS. 53 



His spirit beckoned from the mountain's height ! 
You left the plain and soared 'mid richer views ! . 
So nature mourned when sunk the first day's light. 
With stars, unseen before, spangling her robe of night ! 

Still soar, my friend, those richer views among, 

Strong rapid, fervent, flashing fancy's beam ! 

Virtue and truth shall love your gentler song ; 

But poesy demands th' impassioned theme: 

Waked by heaven's silent dews at eve's mild gleam, 

What balmy sweets Romona breathes around ! 

But if the vext air rush a stormy stream, 

Or Autumn's shrill gust moan in plaintive sound, 

With fruits and flowers she loads the tempest-honored ground 



ODE TO SARA, 



IN ANSWER TO A LETTER FROM BRISTOL. 

Note.— The first Stanza alludes to a passage in the Letter. 



Nor travels my meand'ring eye 
The starry wilderness on high ; 

Nor now with curious sight 
I mark the glow-worm as I pass, 
Move with ' green radiance' thro' the grass, 

An emerald of light. 



ever-present to my view ! 
My wafted spirit is with you, 

And soothes your boding fears ; 

1 see you all opprest with gloom 
Sit lonely in that cheerless room — 

Ah me ! you are in tears ! 

Beloved woman ! did you fly 

Chilled friendship's dark disliking eye, 

Or mirth's untimely din ? 
With cruel weight these trifles press 
A temper sore with tenderness, 

When aches the void within. 

But why with sable wand unblest 
Should fancy rouse within my breast 



54 COLERIDGE ' S POEMS. 

Dim-visaged shapes of dread ? 
Untenanting its beauteous clay, 
My Sara's soul has winged its way, 

And hovers round my head ! 

I felt it prompt the tender dream, 
When, slowly sunk the day's last gleam, 

You roused each gentler sense ; 
As sighing o'er the blossom's bloom 
Meek evening wakes its soft perfume 

With viewless influence. 

And hark, my love ! The sea-breeze moans 
Thro' yon reft house ! O'er rolling stones, 

With broad impetuous sweep, 
The fast encroaching tides supply 
The silence of the cloudless sky 

With mimic thunders deep. 

Dark-redd'ning from the channel'd* isle 
(Where stands one solitary pile 

Urislated by the blast) 
The watchfire, like a sullen star, 
Twinkles to many a dozing tar 

Rude-cradled on the mast. 

Ev'n there — beneath that light-house tower- 
In the tumultuous evil hour 

Ere peace with Sara came, 
Time was, I should have thought it sweet 
To count the echoings of my feet, 

And watch the troubled flame. 

And there in black soul-jaundiced fit 
A sad gloom-pampered man to sit, 

And listen to the roar, 
When mountain surges, bellowing deep, 
With an uncouth monster leap 

Plunged foaming on the shore. 

Then by the lightning's blaze to mark, 
Some toiling tempest-shattered bark : 

Her vain distress-guns hear : 
And when a second-sheet of light 
Flashed o'er the blackness of the night — 

To see no vessel there ! 



♦The Holmes, in the Bristol Channel. 



EARLY POEMS. 55 

But fancy now more gayly sings ; 
Or if awhile she droop her wings, 

As skylarks 'mid the corn, 
On summer fields she grounds her breast : 
Th' oblivious poppy o'er her nest, 

Nods, till returning morn. 

O mark those smiling tears, that swell 
The opened rose !• From heaven they fell, 

And with the sunbeam blend ; 
Blessed visitations from above : 
Such are the tender woes of love 

Fost'ring the heart they bend ! 

When stormy midnight howling round 
Beats on our roof with clatt'ring sound, 

To me your arms you'll stretch : 
Great God ! you'll say — To us so kind, 

shelter from this loud bleak wind 
The houseless, friendless wretch ! 

The tears that tremble down your cheek, 
Shall bathe my kisses chaste and meek 

In pity's dew divine ; . 
And from your heart the sighs that steal 
Shall make your rising bosom feel 

The answ'ring swell of mine ! 

How oft, my love ! with shapings sweet 

1 paint the moment we shall meet ! 

With eager speed I dart— 
I seize you in the vacant air, 
And fancy, with a husband's care, 

I press you to my heart ! 



TO A FRIEND, 

IN ANSWER TO A MELANCHOLY LETTER. 

Away, those cloudy looks, that lab'ring sigh, 
The peevish offspring of a sickly hour ! 
Nor meanly thus complain of fortune's power, 
When the blind gamester throws a luckless die. 



56 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Yon sotting sun flashes a mournful gleam 
Behind those broken clouds, his stormy train : 
To-morrow shall the many-colored main 
In brightness roll beneath his orient beam ! 

Wild as th' autumnal gust, the hand of Time 
Flies o'er his mystic lyre ! in shadowy dance 
Th' alternate groups of joy and grief advance, 
Responsive to his varying strains sublime ! 

Bears on its wing each hour a load of fate. 

The swain, who lulled by Seine's wild murmurs, led 

His weary oxen to their nightly shed, 

To-day may rule a tempest- troubled State. 

Nor shall not fortune with a vengeful smile 
Survey the sanguinary despot's might, 
And haply hurl the pageant from his height, 
Unwept to wander in some savage isle. 

There, shiv'ring sad beneath the tempest's frown, 
Round his tired limbs to wrap the purple vest ; 
And mixed with nails and beads, an equal jest I 
Barter for food the jewels of his crown. 



COMPOSED AT CLEVEDON, SOMERSETSHIRE. 

My pensive Sara ! thy soft cheek reclined 

Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is 

To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown 

With white-flowered jasmin, and the broad-leaved myrtle, 

And watch the clouds that late were rich with light, 

Slow-sadd'ning round, and mark the star of eve 

Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents 

Snatched from yon bean-field ! and the world so hushed 

Hark ! the still murmur of the distant sea 

Tells us of silence ! And th' Eolian lute, 

How by the desultory br*^ze caressed. 

Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover, 

It pours such sweet upbraidings, as must needs 

Tempt to repeat the wrong ! And now its strings 

Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes 

Over delicious surges sink and rise, 



EARLY POEMS. 57 



Such a soft floating witchery of sound. — 

Methinks, it should have been impossible 

Not to love all things in a world like this, 

Where e'en the breezes of the simple air 

Possess the power and spirit of melody ! 

And thus, my love ! as on the midway slope 

Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon, 

Whilst thro' my half-closed eyelids I behold 

The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main, 

And tranquil muse upon tranquillity ; 

Full many a thought uncalled and undetained, 

And many idle flitting phantasies, 

Traverse my indolent and passive brain, 

As wild and various as the random gales 

That swell or flutter on this subject lute ! 

And what if all of animated nature 

Be but organic harps diversely framed 

That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps, 

Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze, 

At once the soul of each, and God of all ? 

But thy mor 1 serious eye a mild reproof 

Darts, O beloved woman ! nor such thoughts 

Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject, 

And biddest me walk humbly with my God. 

Meek daughter in the family of Christ, 

Well hast thou said, and holily dispraised 

These shapings of the unregenerate mind, 

Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break 

On vain philosophy's aye-babbling spring. 

For never guiltless may I speak of Him, 

Th' Incomprehensible ! save when with awa 

I praise him, and with faith that inly * feels $ 

Who with His saving mercies healed me, 

A sinful and most miserable man, 

Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess 

Peace, and this cot, and thee, heart-honored maid ! 

* L'athee n'est point amea yeux un faux esprit ; je puis vivre avec lui aussi bien et 
mieux qu'avec le devot, car il raisonne davantage, mais il lui manque un sens, et mon 
ame lie se fond point entirement avec la sienne ; il est f roid au spectacle le plus ravis- 
sant, et il <herche un syllogiame lorsque je rends un action de grace.— Apptl a I' Impar- 
tial PosterUe, par la Citoyenne Roland. 



$8 . COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

REFLECTIONS 

ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE OF RETIREMENT. 

Sermoni propriora.— Hot. 

Low was our pretty cot, ! our tallest rose 
Peeped at the chamber- window. We could heap 
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn, 
The sea's faint murmur. In the open air 
Our myrtles blossomed ; and across the porch 
Thick jasmins twined : the little landscape round 
Was green and woody and refreshed the eye. 
it was a spot, which you might aptly call 
The Valley of Seclusion ! Once I saw 
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness) 
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by, 
Bristowa's citizen : methought, it calmed 
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse 
With wiser feelings : for he paused, and looked 
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around, 
Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again, 
And sighed, and said, it was a blessed place. 
And we were blessed. Oft with patient ear 
Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note 
(Viewless, or haply for a moment seen 
Gleaming on sunny wing) — ' And such,' I said, 
' The inobtrusive song of happiness — 
Unearthly minstrelsy ! then only heard 
When the soul seeks to hear ; when all is hushed 
And the heart listens ! ' 

But the time, when first 
From that low dell steep up the stony mount 
I climbed with perilous toil and reached the top, 
O what a goodly scene ! Here the bleak mount, 
The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep ; 
Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields 
And river, now with bushy rocks o'erbrowed, 
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks ; 
And seats, and lawns, the abbey, and the wood, 
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city-spire : 
The Channel there, the islands and white sails, 
Dim coasts, and cloud-like hills, and shoreless ocean- 
It seemed lixe omnipresence ! God, methought, 
Had built him there a temple : the whole world 



EARLY POEMS. 59 



Seemed imaged in its vast circumference. 
No wish profaned my overwhelmed heart. 
Blest hour ! it was a luxury — to be ! 

Ah quiet dell ! dear cot ! and mount sublime ! 

I was constrained to quit you. }Vas it right, 

While my unnumbered brethren toiled and bled, 

That I should dream away the entrusted hours 

On rose-leaf beds, pamp'ring the coward heart 

With feelings all too delicate for use ? 

Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye 

Drops on the cheek of one he lifts from earth. : 

And he, that works me good with unmoved face, 

Does it but half : he chills me while he aids, 

My benefactor, not my brother man ! 

Yet even this, this cold beneficence 

Seizes my praise, when I reflect on those, 

The sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribe ! 

Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched, 

Nursing in some delicious solitude 

Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies ! 

I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand, 

Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight 

Of science, freedom, and the truth in Christ. 

Yet oft when after honorable toil 

Rests the tired mind, and waking loves to dream, 

My spirit shall revisit thee, dear cot ! 

Thy jasmin and thy window-peeping rose, 

And myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air. 

And I shall sigh fond wishes — sweet abode ! 

Ah — had none greater ! and that all had suck ! 



TO ANT UNFORTUNATE WOMAN 

HOM THE AUTHOR HAD KNOWN IN THE DAYS OF HER 
INNOCENCE. 

Myrtle leaf, that ill besped 

Pinest in the gladsome ray, 
Soiled beneath the common tread 

Far from thy protecting spray ! 

When the partridge o'er the sheaf 

Whirred along the yellow vale, 
Sad, I saw thee, heedless leaf ! 

Love the dalliance of the gale. 



60 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Lightly didst thou, foolish thing ! 

Heave and flutter to his sighs, 
While the flatt'rer on his wing 

Wooed and whispered thee to rise. 

Grayly from thy mother stalk 
Wert thou danced and wafted high ; 

Soon on this unsheltered walk 
Flung to fade, to rot, and die I 



LINES 

ON OBSERVING A BLOSSOM ON THE FIRST OF FEBRUARY, 17PG 

Sweet flower ! that peeping from thy russet stem, 

Unfoldest timidly (for in strange sort 

This dark, freeze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering month 

Hath borrowed Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee 

With ' blue voluptuous eye ') ; alas, poor flower I 

These are but flatteries of the faithless year. 

Perchance escaped its unknown polar cave 

Ev'n now the keen north-east is on its way. 

Flower, that must perish ! shall I liken thee 

To some sweet girl of too, too rapid growth 

Nipped by consumption 'mid untimely charms ? 

Or to Bristowa's bard,* the wondrous boy ! 

An amaranth, which earth scarce seemed to own, 

Blooming 'mid poverty's drear wintry waste, 

Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong 

Beat it to earth ? Or with indignant grief 

Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's hope, 

Bright flower of hope killed in the opening bud ? 

Farewell, sweet blossom ! better fate be thine 

And mock my boding ! dim similitudes 

Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour 

From black anxiety that gnaws my heart 

For her who droops far-off on a sick bed : 

And the warm wooings of this sunny day 

Tremble along my frame and harmonize 

Th' attempered brain, that even the saddest thoughts 

Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes 

Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument. 



* Chatteron. 



EARLY POEMS. 6 1 



THE HOUR WHEN WE SHALL MEET AGAIN. 

{Composed during illness, and in absence.) 

Dim hour ! that sleep'st on pillowing clouds afar, 
O rise and yoke the turtles to thy car ! 
Bend o'er the traces, blame each lingering dove! 
And give me to the bosom of my love ! 
My gentle love, caressing and carest, 
With heaving heart shall cradle me to rest ! 
Shed the warm tear-drop from her smiliug eyes, 
Lull with fond woe, and med'cine me with sighs ! 
Chilled by the night, the drooping rose of May 
Mourns the long absence of the lovely day ; 
Young day returning at her promised hour 
Weeps o'er the sorrows of her fav'rite flower ; 
Weeps the soft dew, the balmy gale she sighs, 
And darts a trembling lustre from her eyes. 
New life and joy th' expanding flowret feels : 
His pitying mistress mourns, and mourning heals I 



TO C. LLOYD. 



DN HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE AUTHOR. 

A mount, not wearisome and bare and steep, 
But a green mountain variously up-piled 
Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep 
Or colored lichens with slow oozing weep ; 
Where cypress and the darker yew start wild ; 
And 'mid the summer torrent's gentle dash 
Dance brightened the red clusters of the ash ; 
Beneath whose boughs, by stillest sounds beguiled, 
Calm pensiveness might muse herself to sleep ; 
Till haply startled by some fleecy dam, 
That rustling on the bushy cliff above 
With melancholy bleat of anxious love 
Made meek enquiry for her wand'ring lamb : 
Such a green mountain 'twere most sweet to climb 
E'en while the bosom ached with loneliness — 
How heavenly sweet, if some dear freind should bless 



62 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Th' advent'rous toil, and up the path sublime 
Now lead, now follow ; the glad landscape round 
Wide and more wide, increasing without bound! 

O then 'twere loveliest sympathy, to mark 

The berries of the half up-rooted ash 

Dripping and bright '; and list the torrent's dash — 

Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark, 

Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock ; 

In social silence now, and now t' unlock 

The treasured heart ; arm linked in friendly arm, 

Save if the one, his muse's witching charm 

Mutt'ring brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag; 

Till high o'er-head his beck'ning friend appears, 

And from the forehead of the topmost crag 

Shouts eagerly ; for haply there uprears 

That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs 

Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight 

Seen from below, when eve the valley dims, 

Tinged yellow with the rich departing light ; 

And haply, basoned in some unsunned cleft, 

A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears, 

Sleeps sheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the gale ! 

Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left, 

Stretched on the cra<*, and shadowed by the pine, 

And bending o'er the clear delicious fount, 

Ah, dearest Charles ! it were a lot divine 

To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, 

While west winds fanned our temples, toil-bedewed 

Then downwards slope, oft-pausing, from the mount, 

To some low mansion in some v oody dale, 

Where, smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss 

Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss ! 

Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore, 
The hill of knowledge I essayed to trace ; 
That verd'rous hill with many a resting-place 
And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour 
To glad and fertilize the subject plains ; 
That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod, 
And many a fancy-blfcst and holy sod 
Where inspiration, his diviner strains 
Low-murm'ring, lay ; and starting from the rocks 
Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks 
Want's barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age, 
And mad oppression's thunder-clasping rage ! 



EARL V POEMS. 63 



O meek retiring spirit ! we will climb, 
Cheering and cheered, this lovely hill sublime ; 
And from the stirring world uplifted high 
(Whose noises faintly wafted on the wind 
To quiet musings shall attune the mind, 
And oft the melancholy theme supply), 
There while the prospect thro' the gazing eye 
Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul, 
We'll laugh at wealth, and learn to laugh at fame, 
Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same, 
As neighb'ring fountains image each the whole. 



RELIGIOUS MUSINGS. 

▲ DESULTORY POEM, WRITTEN ON THE CHRISTMAS EVE OF 1794. 

What tho' first, 
In years unseason'd, I attuned the lay 
To idle passion and unreal woe ? 
Yet serious truth her empire o'er my song 
Hath now asserted : falsehood's evil brood 
Vice and deceitful pleasure, she at once 
Excluded, and my fancy's careless toil 
Drew to the better cause !— Akenside. 



ARGUMENT. 

Introduction. Person of Christ. His prayer on the cross. The process of his do©, 
trines on the mind of the individual. Character of the elect. Superstition. 
Digression to the present war. Origin and uses of government and property. The 
present state of society. French revolution. Millennium. Universal redemption 
Conclusion. 

This is the time, when, most divine to hear, 

The voice of adoration rouses me, 

As with a cherub's trump : and high upborne, 

Yea, mingling with the choir, I seem to view 

The vision of the heavenly multitude, 

Who hymned the song of peace o'er Bethlehem's fields ! 

Yet Thou more bright than all the angel host 
That harbingered thy birth, Thou, Man of Woes ! 
Despised Galilean ! For the Great 
Invisible (by symbols only seen) 



64 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



With a peculiar and surpassing light 

Shines from the visage of th' oppressed good man, 

When heedless of himself the scourged saint 

Mourns for the oppressor. Fair the vernal mead, 

Fair the high grove, the sea, the sun, the stars ; 

True impress each of their creating Sire ! 

Yet nor high grove, nor many-colored mead, 

Nor the green ocean with his thousand isles, 

Nor the starred azure, nor the sovran sun, 

E'er with such majesty of portraiture 

Imaged the supreme beauty uncreate, 

As Thou, meek Saviour ! at the fearful hour 

When thy insulted anguish winged the prayer 

Harped by archangels, when they sing of mercy ! 

Which when the Almighty heard, from forth his throne, 

Diviner light filled heaven with ecstasy ! 

Heav'n's hymnings paused : and hell her yawning mouth 

Closed a brief moment. 

Lovely was the death 
Of Him, whose life was love ! Holy with power 
He on the thought-benighted skeptic beamed 
Manifest Godhead, melting into day 
What floating mists of dark idolatry 
Broke and misshaped the Omnipresent Sire : 
And first by fear uncharmed the droused soul, 
Till of its nobler nature it 'gan feel 
Dim recollections ; and thence soared to hope, 
Strong to believe whate'er of mystic good 
Th' Eternal dooms for his immortal sons. 
From hope and firmer faith to perfect love 
Attracted and absorbed : and centred there 
God only to behold, and know, and feel, 
Till by exclusive consciousness of God 
All self-annihilated it shall make 
God its identity : God all in all ! 
We and our Father one ! 

And blest are they, 
Who in this fleshly world, the elect of heaven, 
Their strong eye darting thro' the deeds of men, 
Adore with steadfast unpresuming gaze 
Him, nature's essence, mind, and energy ! 
And gazing, trembling, patiently ascend, 
Treading beneath their feet all visible things 
As steps, that upward to their Father's throne 



EARL Y POEMS. 65 



Lead gradual — else nor glorified nor loved. 
They nor contempt imbosom nor revenge : 
For they dare know of what may seem deform 
The supreme fair sole Operant : in whose sight 
All things are pure, his strong controlling love 
Alike from all educing perfect good. 

Theirs, too, celestial courage, inly armed, 
Dwarfing earth's giant brood, what time they muse 
On their great Father, great beyond compare ! 
And marching onwards view high o'er their heads 
His waving banners of omnipotence. 

They cannot dread created might, who love 

God, the Creator ! — fair and lofty thought ! 

It lifts and swells my heart ! And as I muse, 

Behold ! a vision gathers in my soul, 

Voices and shadowy shapes ! In human guise 

I seem to see the phantom, fear, pass by, 

Hotly pursued, and pale ! From rock to rock 

He bounds with bleeding feet, and thro' the swamp, 

The quicksand, and the groaning wilderness, 

Struggles with feebler and yet feebler flight. 

But lo ! an altar in the wilderness, 

And eagerly, yet feebly, lo ! he grasps 

The altar of the living Grod ! and there 

With wan reverted face the trembling wretch 

All wildly list'ning to his hunter-fiends 

Stands, till the last faint echo of their yell 

Dies in the distance. Soon refreshed from heaven 

He calms the throb and tempest of his heart. 

His countenance settles : a soft solemn bliss 

Swims in his eyes ; his swimming eyes upraised ; 

And faith's whole armor girds his limbs ! ' And thus 

Transfigured, with a meek and dreadless awe, 

A solemn hush of spirit, he beholds 

All things of terrible seeming : yea, unmoved 

Views e'en th' immitigable ministers 

That shower down vengeance on these latter days. 

For even these on wings of healing come, 

Yea, kindling with intenser Deity 

From the celestial mercy-seat they speed, 

And at the renovating wells of love 

Have filled their vials with salutary wrath, 

To sickly nature more medicinal 

Than what sweet balm the weeping good man pours 

Into the lone, despoiled traveler's wounds I 



66 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Thus from th' elect, regenerate thro' faith, 

Pass the dark passions * and what thirsty cares 

Drink up the spirit and the dim regards 

Self-centre. Lo, they vanish ! or acquire 

New names, new features — by supernal grace 

Enrobed with light, and naturalized in heaven. 

As when a shepherd on a vernal morn 

Thro' some thick fog creeps tim'rous with slow foot, 

Darkling with earnest eyes he traces out 

Th' immediate road, all else of fairest kind 

Hid or deform'd. But lo ! the burning sun ! 

Touched by the enchantment of that sudden beam 

Straight the black vapor melteth, and in globes 

Of dewy glitter gems each plant and tree ; 

On every leaf, on every blade it hangs ; 

Dance glad the new-born intermingling rays, 

And wide around the landscape streams with glory! 

There is one Mind, one omnipresent Mind, 

OmnifiCo His most holy name is Love. 

Truth of subliming import ! with the which 

Who feeds and saturates his constant soul, 

He from his small particular orbit flies 

With blest outstarting ! from himself he fiies, 

Stands in the sun, and with no partial gaze 

Views all creation ; and he loves it all, 

And blesses it, and calls it very good! 

This is indeed to dwell with the Most High I 

The cherubs and the trembling seraphim 

Can press no nearer to th' Almighty's throne. 

But that we roam unconscious, or with hearts 

Unfeeling of our universal Sire, 

Haply for this some younger angel now 

Looks down on human nature : and, behold 1 

A sea of blood bestrewed with wrecks, where mad 

Embattling interests oh each other rush 

With unhelmed rage ! 

'Tis the sublime of man, 
Our noontide majesty, to know ourselves 
Parts and proportions of one wondrous whole ! 
This fraternizes man, this constitutes 



♦Our evil passions under the influence of religion become innocent and may ba 
made to animate our virtue— in the same manner as the thick mist, melted by the sun, 
increases the light which it had before excluded. In the preceding paragraph , aere* 
ably to this truth, wo had allegorically narrated the transfiguration of fear into holy 
awe. 



EARLY POEMS. &7 



Our charities and bearings. But 'tis God 
Diffused thro' all, that doth make all one whole ; 
This the worst superstition,* him except 
Aught to desire, supreme reality ! 
The plenitude and permanence of bliss ! 

fiends of superstition ! not that oft 

The erring priest hath stained with brother's blood 
Your grisly idols, not for this may wrath 
Thunder against y ou from the Holy One ! 
But o'er some plain that steameth to the sun, 
Peopled with death ; or where more hideous trade 
Loud-laughing packs his bales of human anguish ; 

1 will raise up a mourning, ye fiends! 

And curse your spells, that film the eye of faith, 

Hiding the present God ; whose presence lost, 

The moral world's cohesion, we become 

An anarchy of spirits ! Toy-bewitched, 

Made blind by lusts, disherited of soul, 

No common centre, man no common sire 

Knoweth ! A sordid, solitary thing, 

'Mid countless brethren, with a lonely heart 

Thro' courts and cities the smooth savage roams, 

Feeling himself, his own low self, the whole ; 

When he by sacred sympathy might make 

The whole one self ! self, that no alien knows I 

Self, far diffused as fancy's wing can travel ! 

Self, spreading still ! oblivious of its own, 

Yet all of all possessing ! This is faith ! 

This is the Messiah's destined victory ! 

But first offences needs must come ! Even now 

(Black hell laughs horrible — to hear the scoff !) 

Thee to defend, meek Galilajan ! Thee 

And thy mild laws of love unutterable, 

Mistrust and enmity have burst the bands 

Of social peace ; and list'ning treachery lurks 

With pious fraud to snare a brother's life ; 

And childless widows o'er the groaning land 

Wail numberless ; and orphans weep for bread ! 

Thee to defend, dear Saviour of mankind ! 

Thee, Lamb of God ! Thee, blameless Prince of Peace t 

* If to make aught but the supreme reality the object of final pursuit, be super- 
stifcion ; if the attributing of sublime properties to things or persons, which those 
things or persons neither do or can possess, be superstition ; then avarice and ambition 
are superstitions ; and he who wishes to estimate the evils of superstition should 
transport himself, not to the temple of the Mexican deities, but to the plains of Flan- 
ders, or the coast of Afrioa.— Such is th« sentiment conveyed in this and r^e subsc 
quent lines. 



68 • COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



From all sides rush the thirsty brood of war ! 

Austria, and that foul woman of the north, 

The lustful murd'ress of her wedded lord! 

And he, connatural mind ! whom (in their songs 

So bards of elder time had haply feign'd) 

Some fury fondled in her hate to man, 

Bidding her serpent hair in a mazy surge 

Lick his young face, and at his mouth inbreathe 

Horrible sympathy ! And leagued with these 

Each petty German princeling, nursed in gore! 

Soul-hardened barterers of human blood ! 

Death's prime slave-merchants ; scorpion- whips of fate! 

Nor least in savagery of holy zeal, 

Apt for the yoke, the race degenerate, 

"Whom Britain erst had blushed to call her sons : 

Thee to defend the Mo loch priest prefers 

The prayer of hate, and bellows to the herd 

That Deity, accomplice Deity, 

In the fierce jealousy of wakened wrath, 

Will go forth with our armies and our fleets 

To scatter the red ruin on their foes ! 

O blasphemy ! to mingle fiendish deeds 

With blessedness ! 

Lord of unsleeping love,* 
From everlasting Thou ! We shall not die. 
These, even these, in mercy didst thou form, 
Teachers of good thro' evil, by brief wrong 
Making truth lovely, and her future might 
Magnetic o'er the fixed untrembling heart. 

In the primeval age, a dateless while, 

The vacant shepherd wandered with his flock, 

Pitching his tent where'er the green grass waved. 

But soon imagination conjured up 

An host of new desires : with busy rJm, 

Each for himself, earth's eager children toiled. 

So property began, twy-streaming fount, 

When vice and virtue flow, honey and gall. 

Hence the soft couch, and many-colored robe, 

* 'Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord, mine Holy One? We shall not die. 
Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment,' &c., Habakkuk i. 12. In this paragraph 
the author recalls himself from his indignation against the instruments of evil, to con- 
template the uses of these evils in the great process of Divine benevolence. In the 
first age men were innocent from ignorance of vice ; tliey fell, that by the knowledge 
of consequences they might attain intellectual security, i. e., virtue, which is a wise 
and strong-nerved innocence* 



EARL Y POEMS. 69 



The timbrel, and arched dome, and costly feast, 
With all th' inventive arts, that nursed the soul 
To forms of beauty, and by sensual wants 
Unsensualized the mind, which in the means 
Learned to forget the grossness of the end, 
Best pleasured with its own activity. 
And hence disease that withers manhood's arm, 
The daggered envy, spirit-quenching want, 
Warriors, and lords, and priests — all the sore ills 
That vex and desolate our mortal life : 
Wide-wasting ills ! yet each th' immediate source 
Of mightier good. Their keen necessities 
To ceaseless action goading human thought 
Have made earth's reasoning animal her lord ; 
And the pale-featured sage's trembling hand 
Strong as an host of armed deities. 

From avarice thus, from luxury and war, 
Sprang heavenly science ; and from science freedom. 
O'er wakened realms philosophers and bards 
Spr^id in concentric circles : they whose souls, 
Conscious of their high dignities from God. 
Brook not wealth's rivalry ; and they who, long 
Enamoured with the charms of order hate 
Th' unseemly disproportion : and whoe'er 
Turn with mild sorrow from the victor's car 
And the low puppetry of thrones, to muse 
On that blest triumph, when the patriot sage 
Called the red lightnings from th' o'er-rushing cloud 
And dashed the beauteous terrors on the earth, 
Smiling majestic. Such a phalanx ne'er 
Measured firm paces to the calming sound 
Of Spartan flute ! These on the fated day, 
When, stung to rage by pity, eloquent men 
Have roused with pealing voice th' unnumbered tribes 
That toil and groan and bleed, hungry and blind, 
These, hushed awhile with patient eye serene, 
Shall watch the mad careering of the storm ; 
Then o'er the wild and wavy chaos rush 
And tame th' outrageous mass, with plastic might 
Moulding confusion to such perfect forms, 
As erst were wont, bright visions of the day ! 
To float before them, when, the summer noon, 
Beneath some arched romantio rock reclined 
They felt the sea-breeze lift their youthful locks 
Or in the month of blossoms, at mild eve, 



70 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wandering with desultory feet, inhaled 
The wafted perfumes, gazing on the woods, 
The many-tinted streams, and setting sun 
With all his gorgeous company of clouds, 
In ecstasy ! then homeward as they stray' d 
Cast the sad eye to earth, and inly mused 
Why there was misery in a world so fair. 

Ah, far removed from all that glads the sense, 

From all that softens or ennobles man, 

The wretched many ! Bent beneath their loads 

They gape at pageant power, nor recognize 

Their cots' transmuted plunder ! from the tree 

Of knowledge, ere the vernal sap had risen, 

Rudely disbranched ! Evil society ! 

Fitliest depictured by some sun-scorcht waste, 

Where oft majestic thro' the tainted noon 

The simoon sails, before whose purple pomp 

Who falls not prostrate dies ! and where, by night, 

Fast by each precious fountain on green herbs 

The lion couches ; or hyaena dips 

Deep in the lucid stream his gore-stained jaws ; 

Or serpent plants his vast moon-glittering bulk, 

Caught in whose monstrous twine behemoth * yells, 

His bones loud-crashing ! 

O ye numberless, 
Ye, whom oppression's ruffian gluttony 
Drives from the feast of life ! O thou poor wretch, 
Who nursed in darkness and made wild by want 
Roamest for prey, yea, thy unnatural hand 
Dost lift to deeds of blood ! pale-eyed form, 
The victim of seduction, doomed to know 
Nights of pollution, days of blasphemy ; 
Who in thy orgies with loathed wassailers 
Must gayly laugh, while thy remembered home 
Gnaws like a viper at thy secret heart ! 
O aged women ! ye who weekly catch 
The morsel tost by law-forced charity, 
And die so slowly, that none call it murder t 
O loathly suppliants ! ye that unreceived 
Totter heart-broken from the closing gates 
Of the full lazar-house ; or, gazing, stand 
Sick with despair ! ye to glory's field 



* Behemoth in Hebrew signifies wild beasts in general. Some believe it is the 
elephant, some the hippopotamus ; some attirm it is the wild-bull, 1'ooUcally, it 
designates any large quadruped. 



Forced or ensnared, who, as ye gasp in death, 
Bleed with new wounds beneath the vulture's beak I 
O thou poor widow, who in dreams dost view 
Thy husband's mangled corse, and from short doze 
Start'st with a shriek ; or in thy half-thatched cot 
Waked by the wintry night-storm, wet and cold, 
Cower'st o'er thy screaming baby ! Rest awhile, 
Children of wretchedness ! more groans must rise, 
More blood must steam, or ere your wrongs be full. 
Yet is the day of retribution nigh : 
The Lamb of God hath opened the fifth seal : 
And upward rush on swiftest wing of fire 
Th' innumerable multitude of wrongs 
By man on man inflicted ! Rest awhile, 
Children of wretchedness ! the hour is nigh 
And lo ! the great, the rich, the mighty men, 
The kings and the chief captains of the world, 
With all that fixed on high like stars of heaven 
Shot baleful influence, shall be cast to earth, 
Vile and down-trodden, as the untimely fruit 
Shook from the fig-tree by a sudden storm. 
Ev'n now the storm begins : each gentle name, 
Faith and meek piety, with fearful joy 
Tremble far off — for lo ! the giant frenzy, 
Uprooting empires with his whirlwind arm, 
Mocketh high Heaven ; burst hideous from the ceii 
Where the old hag, unconquerable, huge, 
Creation's eyeless drudge, black ruin, sits 
Nursing th' impatient earthquake. 

return : 
Pure faith ! meek piety ! The abhorred form 
Whose scarlet robe was stiff with earthly pomp, 
Who drank iniquity in cups of gold, 
Whose names were many and all blasphemous, 
Hath met the horrible judgment ! Whence that cry ? 
The mighty army of foul spirits shrieked, 
Disherited of earth ! For she hath fallen 
On whose black front was written Mystery ; 
She that reeled heavily, whose wine- was blood ; 
She that worked whoredom with the demon power, 
And from the dark embrace all evil things 
Brought forth and nurtured — mitred atheism \ 
And patient folly, who on bended knee 
Gives back the steel that stabbed him ; and pale fear, 
Hunted by ghastlier shapings than surround 



;2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Moon-blasted madness when he yells at midnight! 

Return, pure faith! return, meek piety! 

The kingdoms of the world are yours : each heart 

Self-governed, the vast family of love, 

Raised from the common earth by common toil, 

Enjoy the equal produce. Such delights 

As float to earth, permitted visitants ! 

When in some hour of solemn jubilee 

The massy gates of Paradise are thrown 

Wide open, and forth come in fragments wild 

Sweet echoes of unearthly melodies, 

And odors snatched from beds of amaranth, 

And they, that from the crystal river of life 

Spring up on freshened wing, ambrosial gales ! 

The favored good man in his lonely walk 

Perceives them, and his silent spirit drinks 

Strange bliss which he shall recognize in heaven. 

And such delights, such strange beatitude 

Seize on my young anticipating heart 

When that blest future rushes on my view ! 

For in his own and in his Father's might 

The Saviour comes ! while as the thousand years * 

Lead up their mystic dance, the desert shouts ! 

Old Ocean claps his hands ! The mighty dead 

Rise to new life, whoe'er from earliest time 

With conscious zeal had urged love's wondrous plan, 

Coadjutors of God. To Milton's trump 

The high groves of the renovated earth 

Unbosom their glad echoes : inly hushed 

Adoring Newton his serener eye 

Raises to heaven : and he of mortal kind 

Wisest, he f first who mark'd the ideal tribes 

Up the fine fibres thro' the sentient brain 

Pass in fine surges. Pressing on his steps, 

Lo ! Priestley there, patriot, and saint, and sage ! 

Him, full of years, from his loved native land 

Statesmen blood-stained and priests idolatrous, 

By dark lies madd'ning the blind multitude, 

Drove with vain hate. Calm, pitying he retired, 

And mused expectant on these promised years. 

* The millennium : — in which, I suppose, that man will continue to enjoy the highest 
glory of which his human nature is capable.— That all who in past ages have en* 
deavored to ameliorate the state of man, will rise and enjoy the fruits and flowers, 
the imperceptible seeds of which they had sown in their former life ; and that tb< 
wicked will, during the same period, be suffering the remedies adapted to their several 
bad habits. 1 suppose that this period will be followed by the passing away of this 
earth, and by our entering the state of pure intellect ; when all creation shall rest 
from its labors. t David Hartley. 



EARL Y POEMS. 73 



years ! the blest preeminence of saints ! 

Ye sweep athwart my gaze, so heavenly bright, 
The wings that veil th' adoring serarjh's eyes, 
What time he bends before the jasper throne,* 
Reflect no lovelier hues ! yet ye depart, 
And all beyond is darkness ! Heights most strange, 
Whence fancy falls, fluttering her idle wing. 
For who of woman born may paint the hour, 
When, seized in his mid course, the sun shall wane, 
Making noon ghastly ! Who of woman born 
May image, how the red-eyed fiend outstretcht 
Beneath the unsteady feet of Nature groans, 
In feverish slumbers — destined then to wake, 
When fiery whirlwinds thunder his dread name. 
Destruction ! when the sons of morning shout, 
The angels shout, Destruction ! — How his arm 
The last great spirit lifting high in air 
Shall swear by Him, the ever-living One 
Time is no more ! 

Believe thou, O my soul, 
Life is a vision shadowy of truth ; 
And vice and anguish, and the wormy grave, 
Shapes of a dream ! The veiling clouds retire. 
And lo ! the throne of the redeeming God 
Wraps in one light earth, heaven, and deepest hell. 

Contemplant spirits ! ye that hover o'er 

With untired gaze th' immeasurable fount 

Ebullient with creative Deity ! 

And ye of plastic power, that interfused. 

Roll thro' the grosser and material mass 

In organizing surge ! Holies of God ! 

(And what if monads of the infinite mind ? ) 

1 haply journeying my immortal course 

Shall sometime join your mystic choir ! Till then 

I discipline my young noviciate thought 

In ministeries of heart-stirring song, 

And aye on meditation's heaven-ward wing 

Soaring aloft I breathe th' empyreal air 

Of love, omnific, omnipresent love, 

Whose day-spring rises glorious in my soul 

As the great sun, when he his influence 

Sheds on the frost-bound waters — The glad stream 

Flows to the ray and warbles as it flows. 



* Rev. iv. 2, 3. 



74 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



THE DESTINY OF NATIONS. 

A VISION. 

Auspicious reverence ! Hush all meaner songj 
Ere we the deep preluding strain have poured 
To the Great Father, only Rightful King, 
Eternal Father ! King Omnipotent ! 
To the Will Absolute, the One, the Good ! 
The I AM, the Word, the Life, the Living God ! 

Such symphony requires best instrument. 
Seize, then, my soul ! from Freedom's trophied dome 
The harp which hangeth high between the shields 
Of Brutus and Leonidas ! With that 
Strong music, that soliciting spell, force back 
Man's free and stirring spirit that lies entranced. 

For what is freedom, but the unfettered use 
Of all the powers which God for use had given ? 
But chiefly this, him first, him last, to view 
Through meaner powers and secondary things 
Effulgent, as through clouds that veil his blaze. 
For all that meets the bodily sense I deem 
Symbolical, one mighty alphabet 
For infant minds ; and we in this low world 
Placed with our backs to bright reality, 
That we may learn with young un wounded ken 
The substance from its shadow. Infinite Love, 
Whose latence is the plentitude of all, 
Though with retracted beams, and self-eclipse 
Veiling, revealest thine eternal Sun. 

But some there are who deem themselves most free 
When they within this gros.. and visible sphere 
Chain down the winged thought, scoffing ascent, 
Proud in their meanness : and themselves they cheat 
With noisy emptiness of learned phrase, 
Their subtle fluids, impacts, essences, 
Self- working tools, uncaused effects, and all 
Those blind omniscients, those almighty slave! , 
Untenanting creation of its God. 

But properties are God : the naked mass 
(If mass there be, fantastic guess or ghost) 
Acts only by its inactivity. 
Here we pause humbly. Others boldlier think 



That as one body seems the aggregate 
Of atoms numberless, each organized ; 
So by a strange and dim similitude 
Infinite myriads of self-conscious minds 
Are one all-conscious Spirit, which informs 
With absolute ubiquity of thought 
(His one eternal self-affirming act !) 
All his involved Monads, that yet seem 
With various province and apt agency 
Each to pursue its own self-centring end. 
Some nurse the infant diamond in the mine ; 
Some roll the genial juices through the oak ; 
Some drive the mutinous clouds to clash in air, 
And rushing on the storm with whirlwind speed, 
Yoke the red lightnings to their volleying car. 
Thus these pursue their never- varying course, 
No eddy in their stream. Others, more wild, 
With complex interests weaving human fates, 
Duteous or proud, alike obedient all, 
Evolve the process of eternal good. 

And what if some rebellious o'er dark realms 
Arrogate power ? yet these train up to God, 
And on the rude eye, unconfirmed for day, 
Flash meteor-lights better than total gloom. 
As ere from Lieule-Oaive's vapory head 
The Laplander beholds the far-off sun 
Dart his slant beam on unobeying snows, 
While yet the stern and solitary night 
Brooks no alternate sway, the Boreal Morn 
With mimic lustre substitutes its gleam, 
Guiding his course or by Niemi lake 
Or Balda Zhiok,* or the mossy stone 
Of Solfar-kapper,t while the snowy blast 
Drifts arrowy by, or eddies round his sledge 
Making the poor babe at its mother's backi 

* Balda Zhiok , i. e. mons altitudinus, the highest mountain in Lapland. 

t Solfar-kapper ; capitium Solfar, hie locus omnium quotquot veterum Lapponum 
superstitio sacriticiis religios oque cultui dedicavit, celebratissimus erat, in parte sinus 
australis situs Bemimilliaris spatio a mari distans. Ipse locus, quern curiositatis gratia 
aliquando me invisisse memini, duabus prealtis lapidibus, sibi inviceni oppositis, 
quorum alter musco circumdatus erat, constabat. — Lecmius de Lappnnibus. 

t The Lapland women carry their infants at their back in a piece of excavated 
wood, which serves them for a cradle. Opposite to the infant's mouth there is a hole 
for it to breathe through.— Mirandum prorsus est et vix credibile nisi cui vidisse con- 
tigit. Lappones hyeme iter faciei) tes per vastos montes, perque horrida et invia tesqua, 
eo presertim tempore quo omnia perpetuis nivibus obtecta sunt et nives ventis agitan- 
tur et in gyros aguntur, viam ad destinata loca absque errore invenire posse, lactantem 
autem infantem si quern habeat, ipsa mater in dorso bajulat, in excavatio ligno (Gied'k 
ipsi vocant) quod pro cunis utuntur : in noc iufans paunis et pellibus convolutus colli 
gatus jacet.— Leemius de Lapponibus. 



^ 'COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Scream in its scanty cradle : he the while 

Wins gentle solace as with upward eye 

He marks the streamy banners of the North 

Thinking himself those happy spirits shall join 

Who there in floating robes of rosy light 

Dance sportively. For fancy is the power 

That first unsensualizes the dark mind, 

Giving it new delights ; and bids it swell 

With wild activity ; and peopling air, 

By obscure fears of beings invisible, 

Emancipates it from the grosser thrall 

Of the present impulse, teaching self-control, 

Till Superstition with unconscious hand 

Seat Reason on her throne. Wherefore not vain, 

Nor yet without permitted power impressed, 

I deem those legends terrible, with which 

The polar anciem '.thrills his uncouth throng ; 

Whether of pitying Spirits that make their moan 

O'er slaughtered infants, or that giant bird 

Vuokho, of whose rushing wings the noise 

Is tempest, when the unutterable * shape 

Speeds from the mother of Death, and utters once 

That shriek, which never marderer heard, and lived. 

Or if the Greenland Wizard in strange trance 
Pierces the untra veiled realms of Ocean's bed 
Over the abysm, even to that uttermost cave 
By mis-shaped prodigies beleaguered, such 
As earth ne'er bred, nor air, nor the upper sea: 
Where dwells the Fury Form, whose unheard name 
With eager eye, pale cheek, suspended breath, 
And lips half-opening with the dread of sound, 
Unsleeping Silence guards, worn out with fear 
Lest haply 'scaping on some treacherous blast 
The fateful word let slip the elements 
And frenzy Nature. Yet the wizard her, 
Armed with Torngarsuck's f power, the Spirit of Good, 
Forces to unchain the foodful progeny . 

Of the Ocean stream ; thence thro' the realm of Souls, 

Where live the Innocent, as far from cares 

* Jaibme Aibmo. 

t They call the Good Spirit Torngarsuck. The other great but malignant spirit is a 
nameless female ; she dwells under the sea in a great house, where she can detain in 
captivity all the animals of the ocean by her magic power. When a death befalls the 
Greenlanders. an Angekok, or magician, must undertake a journey thither. He passes 
through the kingdom of souls, over a horrible abyss into the Palace of this phantom, 
and by his enchantments causes the captive creatures to ascend directly to the surface 
of the oceau.— See CrantJs History of Greenland, vol. i. 20G. 



EARLY POEMS. 77 



As from the storms and overwhelming waves 
That tumble on the surface of the deep, 
Returns with far-heard pant, hotly pursued 
By the fierce Warders of the Sea, once more, 
Ere by the frost foreclosed, to repossess 
His fleshly mansion, that had staid the while 
In the dark tent within a cow'ring group 
Untenanted. — Wild phantasies ! yet wise, 
On the victorious goodness of high God 
Teaching reliance, and medicinal hope, 
Till from. Bethabra northward, heavenly Truth 
With gradual steps, winning her difficult way, 
Transfer their rude Faith perfected and pure. 

If there be beings of higher class than Man, 
I deem no nobler province they possess, 
Than by disposal of apt circumstance 
To rear up kingdoms : and the deeds they prompt, 
Distinguishing from mortal agency, 
They choose their human ministers from such states 
As still the Epic song half fears to name, 
Repelled from all the minstrelsies that strike 
The palace-roof and soothe the monarch's pride. 

And such, perhaps, the Spirit, who (if words. 
Witnessed by answering deeds may claim our faith) 
Held commune with that warrior-maid of France 
Who scourged the Invader. From her infant days, 
With Wisdom, mother of retired thoughts, 
Her soul had dwelt ; and she was quick to mark 
The good and evil thing, in human lore 
Undisciplined. For lowly was her birth, 
And Heaven had doomed her early years to toil, 
That pure from tyranny's least deed, herself 
Unfeared by fellow-natures, she might wait 
On the poor laboring man with kindly looks, 
And minister refreshment to the tired 
Way-wanderer, when along the rough-hewn bench 
The sweltry man had stretched him, and aloft 
Vacantly watched the rudely- pictured board 
Which on the mulberry-bough with welcome creak 
Swung to the pleasant breeze. Here, too, the Maid 
Learnt more than schools could teach : Man's shifting mind, 
His vices and his sorrows ! And full oft 
At tales of cruel wrong and strange distress 
Had wept and shivered. To the tottering eld 



78 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Still as a daughter would she run : she placed 
His cold limbs at the sunny door, and loved 
To hear him story, in his garrulous sort, 
Of his eventful years, all come and gone. 

So twenty seasons past. The Virgin's form, 
Active and tall, nor sloth nor luxury 
Ilad shrunk or paled. Her front sublime and broad, 
Her flexile eye-brows wildly haired and low, 
And her full eye, now bright, now unillumined, 
Spake more than Woman's thought ; and all her face 
Was moulded to such features as declared 
That pity there had oft and strongly worked, 
And sometimes indignation. Bold her mien. 
And like a haughty huntress of the woods 
She moved : yet sure she was a gentle maid I 
And in each motion her most innocent soul 
Beamed forth so brightly, that who saw would say 
Guilt was a thing impossible in her I 
Nor idly would have said — for she had lived 
In this bad World, as in a place of tombs, 
And touched not the pollutions of the dead. 

'Twas the cold season, when the rustic's eye 
From the drear desolate whiteness of his fields 
Rolls for relief to watch the skyey tints 
And flouds slow varying their huge imagery : 
When now, as she was wont, the healthful Maid 
Had left her pallet ere one beam of day 
Slanted the fog-smoke. She went forth alone 
Urged by the indwelling angel-guide, that oft, 
With dim inexplicable sympathies 
Disquieting the heart, shapes out Man's course 
To the predoomed adventure. Now the ascent 
She climbs of that steep upland, on whose top 
The Pilgrim-man, who long since eve had watched 
The alien shine of unconcerning stars, 
Shouts to himself, there first the Abbey-lights 
Seen in Neufchatel's vale ; now slopes adown 
The winding sheep-track vale-ward : when, behold 
In the first entrance to the level road 
An unattended team ! The foremost horse 
Lay with stretched limbs ; the others, yet alive 
But stiff and cold, stood motionless, their manes 
Hoar with the frozen night-dews. Dismally 
The dark-red dawn now glimmered ; but its gleams 
Disclosed no face of man. The Maiden paused, 



EARLY POEMS. 79 



Then hailed who might be near. No voice replied. 

From the thwar wain at length there reached her ear 

A sound so feebly that it almost seemed 

Distant ; and feebly, with slow effort pushed, 

A miserable man crept forth : his limbs 

The silent frost had eat, scathing like fire. 

Paint on the shafts he rested. She, meantime 

Saw crowded close beneath the coverture 

A mother and her children — lifeless all, 

Yet lovely ! not a lineament Avas marred — 

Death had put on so slumber-like a form ! 

It was a piteous sight • and one, a babe, 

The crisp milk frozen on its innocent lips, 

Lay on the woman's arm, its little hand 

Stretched on her bosom. 

Mutely questioning, 
The Maid gazed wildly at the living wretch. 
He, his head feebly turning, on the group 
Looked with a vacant stare, and his eye spoke 
The drowsy calm that steals on worn-out anguish. 
She shuddered ; but, each vainer pang subdued, 
Quick disentangling from the foremost horse 
The rustic bands, with difficulty and toil 
The stiff cramped team forced homeward. There arrived, 
Anxiously tends him she with healing herbs, 
And weeps and prays — but the numb power of Death 
Spreads o'er his limbs ; and ere the noontide hour. 
The hovering spirits of his wife and babes 
Hail him immortal ! Yet amid his pangs, 
With interruptions long from ghastly throes, 
His voice had faltered out this simple tale. 

The village, where he dwelt a husbandman, 
By sudden inroad had been seized and fired 
Late on the yester-evening. With his wife 
And little ones he hurried his escape. 
They saw the neighboring hamlets flame, they heard 
Uproar and shrieks ! and terror-struck drove on 
Through unfrequented roads, a weary way ! 
But saw nor house nor cottage. All had quenched 
Their evening hearth-fire : for the alarm had spread 
The air clipped keen, the night was fanged with frost, 
And they provisionless ! The weeping wife 
111 hushed her children's moans ; and still they moaned, 
Till fright and cold and hunger drank their life. 



80 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

They closed their eyes in sleep, nor knew 'twas death. 

He only, lashing his o'er- wearied team, 

Gained a sad respite, till beside the base 

Of the high hill his foremost horse dropped dead. 

Then hopeless, strengthless, sick for lack of food, 

He crept beneath the coverture, entranced, 

Till wakened by the maiden. — Such his tale. 

Ah ! suffering to the height of what was suffered, 
Stung with too keen a sympathy, the Maid 
Brooded with moving lips, mute, startful, dark ! 
And now her flushed tumultuous features shot 
Such strange vivacity, as fires the eye 
Of misery fancy-crazed ! and now once more 
Naked, and void, and fixed, and all within 
The unquiet silence of confused thought 
And shapeless feelings. For a mighty hand 
Was strong upon her, till in the heat of soul 
To the high hill-top, tracing back her steps, 
Aside the beacon, up whose smouldered stones 
The tender ivy-trails crept thinly, there, 
Unconscious of the driving element, 
Yea, swallowed up in the ominous dream, she sate 
Ghastly as broad-eyed Slumber ! a dim anguish 
Breathed from her look ! and still with pant and sob, 
Inly she toiled to flee, and still subdued, 
Felt an inevitable Presence near. 

Thus, as she toiled in troublous ecstasy, 
A horror of great darkness wrapt her round, 
And a voice uttered forth unearthly tones, 
Calming her soul,—' O Thou of the Most High 
Chosen, whom all the perfected in Heaven 
Behold expectant 

[The following fragments were intended to form part of the poem when finished.] 

' Maid beloved of Heaven ! 
(To her the tutelary Power exclaimed) 
Of Chaos the adventurous progeny 
Thou seest ; foul missionaries of foul sire, 
Fierce to regain the losses of that hour 
When Love rose glittering, and his gorgeous wings 
Over the abyss fluttered with such glad noise, 
As what time after long and pestful calms, 
With slimy shapes and miscreated life 
Poisoning the vast Pacific, the fresh breeze 



EARL Y POEMS. 8 1 



"Wakens the merchant-sail uprising. Night 
A heavy unimaginable moan 
Sent forth, when she the Protoplast beheld 
Stand beauteous on confusion's charmed wave. 
Moaning she fled, and entered the Profound 
That leads with downward windings to the cave 
Of darkness palpable, desert of Death. 
Sunk deep beneath Gehenna's massy roots. 
There many a dateless age the beldam lurked 
And trembled ; till engendered by fierce Hate, 
Fierce Hate and gloomy Hope, a dream arose, 
Shaped like a black cloud marked with streaks of Are. 
It roused the Hell-Hag: she the dew damp wiped 
From off her brow, and through the uncouth maze 
Retraced her steps ; but ere she reached the mouth 
Of that drear labyrinth, shuddering she paused, 
Nor dared re-enter the diminished Gulf. 
As through the dark vaults of some mouldered tower 
(Which, fearful to approach, the evening hind 
Circles at distance in his homeward way) 
The winds breathe hollow, deemed the plaining groan 
Of prisoned spirits ; with such fearful voice 
Night murmured, and the sound thro' Chaos went. 
♦Leaped at her call her hideous-fronted brood ! 
A dark behjest they heard, and rushed on earth ; 
Since that sad hour, in camps and courts adored, 
Rebels from God, and tyrants o'er Mankind ! ' 



From his obscure haunt 
Shrieked Fear, of Cruelty the ghastly dam, 
Feverous yet freezing, eager-paced yet slow, 
As she that creeps from forth her swampy reeds, 
Ague, the biform hag ! when early Spring 
Beams on the marsh-bred vapors. 



' Even so (the exulting Maiden said) 
The sainted heralds of good tidings fell, 
And thus they witnessed God ! But now the clouds 
Treading, and storms beneath their feet, they soar 
Higher, and higher soar, and soaring sing 
Loud songs of triumph !. O ye spirits of God, 
Hover round my mortal agonies ! ' 
She spake, and instantly faint "melody 
Melts on her ear, soothing and sad, and slow, 



Such measures, as at calmest midnight heard 
By aged hermit in his holy dream, 
Foretell and solace death ; and now they rise 
Louder, as when with harp and mingled voice 
The white-robed* multitude of slaughtered saints 
At Heaven's wide-opened portals gratulant 
Receive some martyred patriot. The harmony 
Entranced the Maid, till each suspended sense 
Brief slumber seized, and confused ecstasy. 

At length awakening slow, she gazed around : 
And through a mist, the relique of that trance, 
Still thinning as she gazed, an Isle appeared, 
Its high, o'er-hanging, white, broad-breasted cliffs, 
Glassed on the subject ocean. A vast plain 
Stretched opposite, where ever and anon 
The plough-man following sad his meagre team 
Turned up fresh skulls unstartled, and the bones 
Of fierce hate-breathing combatants, who there 
All mingled lay beneath the common earth, 
Death's gloomy reconcilement ! O'er the fields 
Stept a lair Form, repairing all she might, 
Her Temples olive- wreathed ; and where she trod 
Fresh flowerets rose, and many a foodful herb. 
But wan her cheek, her footsteps insecure, 
And anxious pleasure beamed in her faint eye, 
*As she had newly loft a couch of pain, 
Pale convalescent ! (yet some time to rule 
With power exclusive o'er the willing world, 
That blest prophetic mandate then fulfilled — 
Peace be on Earth !) A happy while, but brief, 
She seemed to wander with assiduous feet, 
And healed the recent harm of chill and blight, 
And nursed each plant that fair and virtuous grew. 

But soon a deep precursive sound moaned hollow : 
Black rose the clouds, and now (as in a dream) 
Their reddening shapes, transformed to warrior-hosts 
Coursed o'er the sky, and battled in mid-air. 
Nor did not the large blood-drops fall from heaven 
Portentous ! while aloft were seen to float, 
Like hideous features booming on the mist, 
Wan stains of ominous light ! Resigned, yet sad, 

* Revelations, vi. 9, 11. And when he had opened the fifth seal, 1 saw under the 
altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which 
they held. And white rohes were given unto every one of thein,and it was said unto 
ihein, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servaute also and 
their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. 



EARLY POEMS $3 



The fair Form bowed her olive-crowned brow, 
Then o'er the plain with oft reverted eye 
Fled till a place of tombs she reached, and there 
Within a ruined sepulchre obscure 
Found hiding-place. 

The delegated Maid 
Gazed through ner tears, then in sad tone;' exclaimed ; 
'Thou mild-eyed Form ! wherefore, ah ! wherefore fled? 
The power of Justice, like a name all light, 
Shone from thy brow ; but all they, who unMamed 
Dwelt in thy dwellings, call thee Happiness. 
Ah ! why, uninjured and unprofited, 
Should multitudes against their brethren rush ? 
Why sow they guilt, still reaping misery ? 
Lenient of care, thy songs, O Peace ! are sweet, 
As after showers the perfumed gale of eve, 
That flings the cool drops on a feverous cheek ; 
And gay thy grassy altar piled with fruits. 
But boasts the shrine of demon War one charm, 
Save that with many an orgie strange and foul, 
Dancing around with interwoven arms, 
The maniac Suicide and giant Murder 
Exult in their fierce union ! I am sad, 
And know not why the simple peasants crowd 
Beneath the Chieftains' standard ! ' Thus the Maid. 

To her the tutelary Spirit said : 
'When luxury and lust's exhausted stores 
No more can rouse the appetites of kings ; 
When the low flattery of their reptile lords 
Falls flat and heavy on the accustomed ear ; 
When eunuchs sing, and fools buffoonery make, 
And dancers writhe their harlot-limbs in vain ; 
Then War and all its dread vicissitudes 
Pleasingly agitate their stagnant hearts ; 
Its hopes, its fears, its victories, its defeats, 
Insipid royalty's keen condiment ! 
Therefore uninjured and unprofited 
(Victims at once and executioners), 
The congregated husbandmen lay waste 
The vineyard and the harvest. As along 
The Bothnic coast, or southward of the Line, 
Though hushed the winds and cloudless the high noon, 
Yet if Leviathan, weary of ease, 
In sports unwieldy toss his island-bulk, 



Ocean behind him billows, and before 

A storm of waves breaks foamy on the strand. 

And hence, for times and seasons bloody and dark, 

Short Peace shall skin the wounds of causeless War, 

And War, his strained sinews knit anew, 

Still violate the unfinished works of Peace. 

But yonder look ! for more demands thy view ! ■ 

He said : and straightway from the opposite lslo 

A vapor sailed, as when a cloud, exhaled 

From Egypt's fields that steam hot pestilence, 

Travels the sky for many a trackless league, 

Till o'er some death-doomed land, distant in vain, 

It broods incumbent. Forthwith from the plain, 

Facing the Isle, a brighter cloud arose, 

And steered its course which way the vapor went. 

The Maiden paused, musing what this might mean. 
But long time passed not, ere that brighter cloud 
Returned more bright ; along the plain it swept ; 
And soon from forth its bursting sides emerged 
A dazzling form, broad-bosomed, bold of eye, 
And wild her hair, save where with laurels bound. 
Not more majestic stood the healing God, 
When from his bow the arrow sped that slew 
Huge Python. Shriek'd Ambition's giant throng, 
And with them hissed the locust-fiends that crawled 
And glittered in Corruption's slimy track. 
Great was their wrath, for short they knew their reign ; 
And such commotion made they, and uproar, 
As when the mad tornado bellows through 
The guilty islands of the western main, 
What time departing from their native shores, 
Eboe, or Koromantyn's * plain of palms, 
The infuriate spirits of the murdered make 
Fierce merriment, and vengeance ask of Heaven. 

* The Slaves in the West-Indies consider death as a passport to their native country. 
This sentiment, is thus expressed in the introduction to a Greek Prize-Ode on the 
Slave-Trade, of which the thoughts are better than the language in which they are 
conveyed. 

1 fi <tk6tov 7tvAo5 ©ovaif, 7rpoAei7rwi' 
*E? yeVo? <nrev&oi<; vno^ev\6ev "Ara* 
Ov £evia6ri<Tr) yevvuiv <77rapayp.ois, 
Ov6* oAoAuy/xa*, 

'AAAi KCLt KVKkOKTl \0p0l7V1T»l(Tl t 

K'acr/AaTcol' X a P<f ' </>o/3epbs n.ev eaoi 
"AAA' q/xws 'EAeu0epia awouceis, 
Zrvvve Tvpavve I 



Warmed with new influence, the unwholesome plain 
Sent up its foulest fogs to meet the morn : 
The sun that rose on Freedom, rose in blood ! 

' Maiden beloved and Delegate of Heaven ! 
(To her the tutelary Spirit said), 
Soon shall the morning struggle into day, 
The stormy morning into cloudless noon. 
Much hast thou seen, nor all canst understand — 
But this be thy best omen — Save thy Country ! ' 
Thus saying, from the answering Maid he passed, 
And with him disappeared the heavenly Vision. 

1 Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven ! 
All-conscious presence of the Universe ! 
Nature's vast ever-acting energy ! 
In will, in deed, impulse of All to All ! 
Whether thy Love with unrefracted ray 
Beam on the Prophet's purged eye, or if 
Diseasing realms the enthusiast, wild of thought, 
Scatter new frenzies on the infected throng, 
Thou both inspiring and predooming both, 
Fit instruments and best, of perfect end : 
Glory to Thee, Father of Earth and Heaven ! ■ 

And first a landscape rose 
More wild and waste and desolate than where 
The white bear, drifting on a field of ice, 
Howls to her sundered cubs with piteous rage 
And savage agony. 

Aaoxiot; €7r! mtpvyeacrt. (rrjcri 
'A ! $a.\a<r<Tiov (caflopcui'Te? oZ5p.a 
Ai0«po7rAd-y(CTOi9 inrb nocrcr' dveia't 
UarptS' in' alav. 

'EvBa tx.a.v"E.pa.<Tai "EpaJixevr/crLV 
'Afj.<f>i nryyr)<TLV KiTpifiov vn dAcrajv, 
"Ocrcr" inrb /Sporcus enaOov (SpoToi, ra 
Aeivd \eyovTi. 

LITERAL TRANSLATION. 

Leaving tne gates of darkness, O Death ! hasten tbou to a race yoked with misery ! 
Thou wilt not be received with lacerations of cheeks, nor with funeral ululation— but 
with circling dances and the joy of songs. Thou art terrible indeed, yet tbou dwcllest 
with Liberty, stern Genius ! Borne on thv dark pinions over Uie swelling of Ocean 
they return to their native country. There, by the side of fountains beneath citron- 
groves, the lovers teh to their beloved wbat horrors, being men, they had endured 
from men. J 




THE RAVEN. 

A. CHRISTMAS TALE, TOLD BY A SCHOOL-BOY TO HIS LITTLE 
BROTHERS AND SISTERS. 

Underneath an old oak tree 

There was of swine a huge company 

That grunted as they crunched the mast : 

For that was ripe, and fell full fast. 

Then they trotted away, for the wind grew high : 

One acorn they left, and no more might you spy. 

Next came a Raven, that liked not such folly : 

lie belonged, they did say, to the witch Melancholy! 

Blacker was he than blackest jet, 

Flew low in the rain, and his feathers not wet. 

He picked up the acorn and buried it straight 

By the side of a river both deep and great. 

Where then did the Raven go ? 

He went high and low, 
Over hill, over dale, did the black Raven go. 

Many Autumns, many Springs, 

Travelled he with wandering wings : 

Many Summers, many Winters — 

I can't tell half his adventures. 

At length he came back, and with him a She, 

And the acorn was grown to a tall oak tree. 

They built them a nest in the topmost bough, 

And young ones they had, and were happy enow. 

But soon came a woodman in leathern guise, 

His brow, like a pent-house, hung over his eyes. 

He'd an axe in his hand, not a word he spoke. 

But with many a hem ! and a sturdy stroke, 

At length he brought down the poor Raven's own oak. 

His young ones were killed, for they could not depart, 

And their mother did die of a broken heart. 

The boughs from the trunk the woodman did sever ; 

And they floated it down on the course of the river. 

They sawed it in planks, and its bark they did strip, 

And with this tree and others they made a good ship. 

The ship, it was launched ; but in sight of the land 

Such a storm there did rise as no ship could withstand. 

It bulged on a rock, and the waves rushed in fast : 

Round and round flew the Raven, and cawed to the blast. 

He heard the last shriek of the perishing souls — 

See ! See ! o'er the topmast the mad water rolls I 



EARLY POEMS. 87 



Right glad was the Raven, and off he went fleet, 
And Death riding home on a cloud he did meet, 
And he thanked him again and again for this treat : 

They had taken his all, and Revenge it was sweet I 



TIME, REAL AND IMAGINARY. 

AN ALLEGORY. 

On the wide level of a mountain's head, 
(I knew not where, but 'twas some fairy place) 
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails outspread, 
Two lovely children run an endless race, 

A sister and a brother ! 

That far outstripp'd the other ; 
Yet ever runs she with reverted face, 
And looks and listens for the boy behind : 

For he, alas ! is blind ! 
O'er rough and smooth with even step he passed, 
And knows not whether he be first or last. 



THE FOSTER MOTHER'S TALE. 

A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT. 

Ter. But that entrance, Selma ? 

Sel. Can no one hear ? It is a perilous tale ! 

Ter. No one. 

Sel. My husband's father told it me, 

Poor old Sesina — angels rest his soul ; 
He was a woodman, and could fell and saw 
With lusty arm. You know that huge round beam 
Which props the hanging wall of the old chapel ? 
Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree, 
He found a baby wrapped in mosses, lined 
With thistle-beards, and such small locks of wool 
As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home, 
And reared him at the then Lord Valdez' cost, 
And so the babe grew up a pretty boy, 
A pretty boy, but most unteachable — 
And never learn'd a prayer, nor told a bead, 
But knew the names of birds, and mocked their notes, 
And whistled, as he were a bird himself. 
And all the autumn 'twas his only play 



88 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



To gather seeds of wild flowers, and to plant them 

With earth and water on the stumps of trees. 

A Friar, who gathered simples in the wood, 

A gray-haired man, he loved this little boy : 

The boy loved him,- and, when the Friar taught him, 

He soon could write with the pen ; and from that tim« 

Lived chiefly at the convent or the castle. 

So he became a rare and learned youth : 

But O ! poor wretch ! he read, and read, and read 

Till his brain turned ; and ere his twentieth year 

He had unlaM r ful thoughts of many things : 

And though he prayed, he never loved to pray 

With holy men, nor in a holy place. 

But yet his speech, it was so soft and sweet, 

The late Lord Valdez ne'er was wearied with him. 

And once, as by the north side of the chapel 

They stood together chained in deep discourse, 

The earth heaved under them with such a groan, 

That the wall tottered, and had well nigh fallen 

Right on their heads. My Lord was sorely frightened ! 

A fever seized him, and he made confession 

Of all the heretical and lawless talk 

Which brought this judgment : so the youth was seized, 

And cast into that hole. My husband's father 

Sobbed like a child— it almost broke his heart: 

And once as he was working near this dungeon, 

He heard a voice distinctly ; 'twas the youth's, 

Who sung a doleful song about green fields, 

How sweet it were on lake or wide savanna 

To hunt for food, and be a naked man, 

And wander up and down at liberty. 

He always doted on the youth, and now 

His love grew desperate ; and defying death, 

He made that cunning entrance 1 described, 

And the young man escaped. 

Ter. 'Tis a sweet tale i 

Such as would lull a listening child to sleep, 
His rosy face besoiled with un wiped tears. 
And what became of him ? 

Sel. Be went on shipboard 

With those bold voyagers who made discovery 
Of golden lands. Sesina's younger brother 
Went likewise, and when he returned to Spain, 
He told Sesina, that the poor mad youth, 
Soon after they arrived in that new world, 
In spite of his dissuasion, seized a boat, 



EARLY POEMS. 89 



And all alone, set sail by silent moonlight 

Up a great river, great as any sea, 

And ne'er was heard of more : but r tis supposed, 

He lived and died among the savage men. 

LINES 

WRITTEN AFTER A WALK BEFORE SUPPER. 

Tho' much averse, dear Jack, to flicker, 

To find a likeness for friend V ker, 

I've made, thro' earth, and air, and sea, 

A voyage of discovery ! 

And let me add (to ward off strife) 

For V kers, and for V kers' wife— 

She, large and round, beyond belief, 

A superfluity of beef ! 

Her mind and body of a piece, 

And both composed of kitchen-grease. 

In short, dame Truth might safely dub her 

Vulgarity enshrined in blubber ! 

He, meagre bit of littleness, 

All snuff, and musk, and politesse ; 

So thin, that strip him of his clothing, 

He'd totter on the edge of nothing I 

In case of foe, he well might hide 

Snug in the collops of her side, 

Ah then, what simile will suit ? 

Spindle leg in great jack-boot ? 

Pismire crawling in a rut, 

Or a spigot in a butt ? 

Thus I humm'd and ha'd awhile, 

When Madam Memory, with a smile, 

Thus touched my ear—' Why sure, I ween 

In London streets thou oft hast seen 

The very image of this pair : 

A little ape, with huge she bear 

Linked by napless chain together : 

An unlicked mass the one — the other 

An antic huge with nimble crupper ' — 

But stop, my Muse ! for here comes supper. 

ON A CONNUBIAL RUPTURE IN HIGH LIFE, 1796, 

I sigh, fair injured stranger ! for thy fate ; 

But what shall sighs avail thee ? Thy poor heart, 
'Mid all the ' pomp and circumstance ' of state, 

Shivers in nakedness. Unbidden, start 



9^> COLEkrDGE'S POEMS. 

Sad recollections of hope's gairish dream, 

Tliat shaped a seraph form, and named it Love, 

Its hues gay- varying, as the orient beam 
Varies the neck of Cytherea's dove. 

To one soft accent of domestic j'03 7 , 

Poor are the shouts that shake the high-arched dome 
Those plaudits, that thy public path annoy, 

Alas ! they tell thee — Thou'rt a wretch at home ! 

O then retire and weep ! Their very woes . 

Solace the guiltless. Drop the pearly flood 
On thy sweet infant, as the full-blown rose, 

Surcharged with dew, bends o'er its neighb'ring bud. 

And oh that Truth some holy spell might lend 
To lure thy wanderer fiom the syren's power, 

Then bid your souls inseparably blend 
Like two bright dewdrops meeting in a flower. 



ON THE CHRISTENING OF A FRIEND'S CHILD. 

This day among the faithful placed 

And fed with fontal manna ; 
O with maternal title graced, 

Dear Anna's dearest Anna I 

While others wish thee wise and fair, 

A maid of spotless fame, 
I'll breathe this more compendious prayer — 

May'st thou deserve thy name ! 

Thy Mother's name, a potent spell, 

That bids the Virtues hie 
From mystic grove and living cell, 

Confessed to Fancy's eye : 

Meek Quietness without offence ; 

Content in homespun kirtle ; 
True Love ; and True Love's Innocence, 

White blossom of the myrtle ! 

Associates of thy name, sweet Child 1 
These Virtues may'st thou win ; 

With face as eloquently mild 
To say, they lodge within. 



EARLY POEMS. 9 1 

So, when her tale of days all flown, 

Thy mother shall be missed here j 
When Heaven at length shall claim its owr 

And angels snatch their sister ; 

Some hoary-headed friend, perchance, 

May gaze with stifled breath ; 
And oft, in momentary trance, 

Forget the waste of death. 

Ev'n thus a lovely rose I viewed 

In summer-swelling pride ; 
Nor marked the bud, that, green and rude, 

Peeped at the rose's side. 

It chanced I passed again that way, 

In Autumn's latest hour, 
And wond'ring saw the self-same spray 

Rich with the self-same flower. — 

Ah, fond deceit ! the rude green bud 

Alike in shape, place, name, 
Had bloomed, where bloomed its parent stud, 

Another and the same ! 



SONNET. 



My heart ha^ thanked thee, Bowles ! for those soft strains 

Whose sadness soothes me, like the murmuring 

Of wild bees in the sunny showers of spring ! 

For hence not callous to the mourner's pains 

Thro' Youth's gay prime and thornless paths I went : 

And when the darker day of life began, 

And I did roam, a thought-bewildered man 1 

Their mild and manliest melancholy lent 

A mingled charm, which oft the pang consigned 

To slumber, tho' the big tear it renewed : 

Bidding such strange mysterious pleasure brood 

Over the wavy and tumultuous mind, 

As made the soul enamoured of her woe : 

No common praise, dear Bard ! to thee I owe ! 



9^ COLERIDGE S POEMS. 

II. 
ON A DISCOVERY MADE TOO LATE. 

Thou bleedest, my poor heart ! and thy distress 
Reas'ning I ponder with a scornful smile 
And probe thy sore wound sternly, tho' the whilo 

Swollen be mine eye and dim with heaviness. 

Why didst thou listen to Hope's whisper bland ? 
Or list'ning, why forget the healing tale, 
When Jealousy with fev'rish fancies pale 

Jarred thy fine fibres with a maniac's hand ? 

Faint was that Hope, and rayless! — Yet 'twas fair, 
And soothed with many a dream the hour of rest : 
Thou shouldst have loved it most, when most opprest. 

And nursed it with an agony of care, 

Even as a Mother her sweet infant heir, 
That wan and sickly droops upon her breast ! 

in. 

Thou gentle Look, that didst my soul beguile, 
Why hast thou left me ? Still in some fond dream 
Revisit my sad heart, auspicious Smile ! 
As falls on closing flowers the lunar beam : 
What time, in sickly mood, at parting day 
I lay me down and think of happier years \ 
Of joys, that glimmered in Hope's twilight ray, 
Then left me darkling in a vale of tears. 

pleasant days of Hope — forever flown ! 
Could I recall you ! — But that thought is vain. 
Availeth not Persuasion's sweetest tone 

To lure the fleet-winged travellers back again : 
Yet fair, tho' faint, their images shall gleam 
Like the bright Rainbow on an evening stream. 

IV. 
TO THE RIVER OTTER. 

Dear native Brook ! wild Streamlet of the West! 
How many various-fated years have passed, 
What blissful and what anguished hours, since last 

1 skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast, 

Numbering its light leaps ! Yet so deep imprest 
Sink the sweet scenes of Childhood, that mine eyes 



EARLY POEMS. 93 



I never shut amid the sunny blaze, 

But straight with all their tints thy waters rise, 
Thy crossing plank, thy margin's willowy maze, 

And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes, 
Gleamed through thy bright transparence to the gaze ? 

Visions of Childhood ! oft have ye beguiled 
Lone Mahood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs, 

Ah ! that once more I were a careless child ! 

v. 

Sweet Mercy ! how my very heart has bled 
To see thee, poor old man ! and thy gray hairs 
Hoar with the snowy blast ; while no one cares 

To clothe thy shrivelled limbs and palsied head. 

My Father ! throw away this tattered vest 

That mocks thy shiv'ring ! take my garment — use 
A young man's arm ! I'll melt these frozen dews 

That hang from thy white beard and numb thy breast. 

My Sara, too, shall tend thee, like a child : 
And thou shalt talk, in our fire-side's recess, 
Of purple pride, that scowls on wretchedness. — 

He did not scowl, the Gfalilsean mild, 

Who met the Lazar turned from rich man's doors, 
And called him Friend, and wept upon his sores I 

VI. 

Pale Roamer thro' the Night ! thou poor forlorn ! 
Remorse that man on his death-bed possess, 
Who in the credulous hour of tenderness 
Betrayed, then cast thee forth to Want and scorn I 
The world is pityless ; the Chaste one's pride, 
Mimic of Virtue, scowls on thy distress ; 
TLy kindred, when they see thee, turn aside, 
And Vice alone will shelter Wretchedness ! 

! I am sad to think, that there should be 
Men, born of woman, who endure to place 
Foul offerings on tho shrine of Misery, 
And force from Famine the caress of Love ! 
Man has no feeling of thy sore Disgrace : 
Keen blows the blast upon the moulting cfove I 

VII. 
TO BURKE. 

As late I lay in slumber's shadowy vale, 
With wetted cheek and in a mourner's guise, 

1 saw the sainted form of Freedom rise ; 



94 • COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

She spake ! not sadder moans the autumnal gale. 

' Great Son of Genius ! sweet to me thy name, 

Ere in an evil hour with altered voice 

Thou bad'st Opy)ression's hireling crew rejoice, 

Blasting with wizard spell my laurelled fame. 

Yet never, Burke ! thou drank'st Corruption's bowl! 

Thee stormy Pity, and the cherished lure 

Of Pomp, and proud Precipitance of soul, 

Wiidered with meteor fires. Ah, Spirit pure ! 

That error's mist had left thy purged eye : 

So might I clasp thee with a Mother's joy 1 * 

VIII. 
TO MERCY. 

Not always should the tear's ambrosial dew 

Roll its soft anguish down thy furrowed cheek! 

Not always heaven-breathed tones of suppliance meek 

Beseem thee, Mercy ! Yon dark Scowler view, 

Who with proud words of dear-loved Freedom came — 

More blasting than the mildew from the south ! 

And kissed his country with Iscariot mouth ; 

(Ah ! foul apostate from his Father's fame !) 

Then fixed her on the cross of deep distress, 

And- at safe distance marks the thirsty lance 

Pierce her big side ! But oh ! if some strange trainee 

The eye-lids of thy stern-browed Sister press, 

Seize, Mercy ! thou more terrible the brand, 

And hurl her thunderbolts with fiercer hand ! 

IX. 
TO PRIESTLEY. 

Tho' roused by that dark Visir riot rude 
Have driven our Priestley o'er the ocean swell ; 
Tho' Superstition and her wolfish brood 
Bay his mild radiance, impotent and fell ; 
Calm in his halls of Brightness he shall dwell ; 
For lo ! Religion at his strong behest 
Starts with mild anger from the Papal spell, 
And flings to Earth her tinsel-glittering vest, 
Her mitred state and cumbrous pomp unholy j 
And Justice wakes to bid th' Oppressor wail, 
Insulting aye the wrongs of patient folly ; 
And from her dark retreat by Wisdom won, 
Meek Nature slowly lifts her matron veil 
To smile with fondness on her gazing son 1 



EARL Y POEMS. 9$ 



X. 

TO ERSKINE. 

When British Freedom for an happier land 

Spread her broad wings, that fluttered with affright, 

Erskine ! thy voice she heard, and paused her flight 

Sublime of hope ! For dreadless thou didst stand 

(Thy censer glowing with the hallowed flame) 

An hireless Priest before th' insulted shrine, 

And at her altar poured'st the stream divine 

Of unmatched eloquence. Therefore thy name 

Her Sons shall venerate, and cheer thy breast 

With blessings heavenward breathed. And when the doom 

Of Nature bids thee rise beyond the tomb, 

Thy light shall shine : as sunk beneath the West 

Tho' the great Summer Sun eludes our gaze, 

Still burns wide Heaven with his distended blaze. 

XI. 

TO SHERIDAN. 

It was some spirit, Sheridan ! that breath' d 

O'er thy young mind such wildly- various power! 

My soul hath marked thee in her shaping hour, 

Thy temples with Hymettian * flowrets wreath'd : 

And sweet thy voice, as when o'er Laura's bier 

Sad music trembled thro' Vauclusa's glade \ 

Sweet, as at dawn the love-lorn Serenade 

That wafts soft dreams to Slumber's list'ning ear. 

Now patriot Rage and Indignation high 

Swell the full tones ! And now thine eye-beams dance 

Meanings of Scorn and Wit's quaint revelry ! 

Writhes inly from the bosom-probing glance 

Th' Apostate by the brainless rout adored, 

As erst that elder Fiend beneath great Michael's sword. 



* Hymettian flowrets. Hymettus, a mountain near Athens, celebrated for its honey. 
This alludes to Mr. Sheridan's classical attainments, and the following four hues to the 
exquisite sweetness and almost Italian delicacy of his Poetry.— In Shakespeare's 
* Lover's Complaint ' there is a fine Stanza almost prophetically characteristic of M.7 
gheridan. 

So on the tip of his subduing tongue 

All kind of argument and question deep, 

All replication prompt and reason strong 

For his advantage, still did wake and sleep 

To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep : 

He had the dialect and different skill, 

Catching all passions in his craft of will : 

That he did in the general bosom reigu 

Of young arid old. 



96 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



XII. 
TO MRS- SPDDONS. 

As when a child on some long winter's night, 
Affrighted clinging to its Grandam's knees, 
With eager wond'ring and perturbed delight 
Listens strange tales of fearful dark decrees 
Muttered to wretch by necromantic spell ; 
Or of those hags, who at the witching time 
Of murky midnight ride the air sublime, 
And mingle foul embrace with fiends of Hell : 
Cold Horror drinks its blood ! Anon the tear 
More gentle starts, to hear the Beldame tell 
Of pretty babes, that loved each other dear, 
Murdered by cruel Uncle's mandate fell : 
Ev'n such .the shiv'ring joys thy tones impart, 
Ev'n so thou, Siddons ! meltest my sad heart 1 

XIII. 
TO LA PAYETTE. 

As when far off the warbled strains are heard 

That soar on Morning's wing the vales among, 

Within his cage th' imprisoned matin bird 

Swells the full chorus with a generous song ; 

He bathes no pinion in the dewy light, 

No Father's joy, no Lover's bliss he shares, 

Yet still the rising radiance cheers his sight — 

His Fellows' freedom soothes .the Captive's cares ! 

Thou, Fayette ! who didst wake with startling voice 

Life's better Sun from that long wintry night, 

Thus in thy Country's triumphs shalt rejoice 

And mock with raptures high the dungeon's might r 

For lo ! the morning struggles into day, 

And Slavery's spectres shriek and vanish from the ray 1 

XIV. 

COMPOSED WHILE CLIMBING THE LEFT ASCENT OF BROCKLEY 
COOMB, IN THE COUNTY OF SOMERSET, MAY, 1795. 

With many a pause and oft reverted eye 

I climb the Coomb's ascent ; sweet songsters near 

Warble in shade their wild-wood melody : 

Far off th' unvarying cuckoo soothes my ear. 



EARL Y POEMS. 97 



Up scour the startling stragglers of the flock 

That on green plots o'er precipices browse : 

From the forced fissures of the naked rock 

The Yew-tree bursts ! Beneath its dark green boughs 

(Mid which the May-thorn blends its blossoms white), 

Where broad smooth stones jut out in mossy seats, 

I rest — And now have gained the topmost site. 

Ah ! what a luxury of landscape meets 

My gaze ! proud towers, and cots more dear to me ; 

Elm-shadowed fields, and prospect-bounding sea ; 

Deep sighs my lonely heart : I drop the tear : 

Enchanting spot ! O were my Sara here ! 

XV.* 
TO SCHILLER. 

Schiller ! that hour I would have wished to die, 
If thro' the shudd'ring midnight I had sent 
From the dark Dungeon of the Tower time-rent 

That fearful voice, a famished Father's f cry — 

That in no after moment aught less vast 

Might stamp me mortal ! A triumphant shout 
Black Horror screamed, and all her goblin rout 

From the more with'ring scene diminished past. 

Ah ! Bard tremendous in sublimity ! 
Could I behold thee in thy loftier mood, 

Wand'ring at eve with finely frenzied eye 

Beneath some vast old tempest-swinging wood! 
Awhile with mute awe gazing I would brood, 

Then weep aloud in a wild ecstasy I 

XVI. 
TO EARL STANHOPE. 

Not, Stanhope ! with the Patriot's doubtful name 
I mock thy worth — Friend of the human race 
Since scorning Faction's low and partial aim, 
Aloof thou wendest in thy stately pace, 

One night in winter on leaving a College friend's room, with whom I had supped. 
I carelessly took away with me The Robbers, a drama, the very name of which I had 
never heard before : A winter midnight— the wind high and' The Robbers for the first 
time. The readers of Schiller will conceive what I felt. Schiller introduces no 
supernatural beings ; yet his human beings agitate and astonish more than all the 
goblin rout even of Shakespeare, 
f The Father of Moor, in the Play of The Robbers. 



98 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Thyself redeeming from that leprous stain, 

Nobility : and aye unterrified, 

Pourest thine Abdiel warnings on the train 

That sit complotting with rebellious pride 

'Gainst her,* who from the Almighty's bosom leapt 

With whirlwind arm, fierce Minister of Love ! 

Wherefore, ere Virtue o'er thy tomb hath wept, 

Angels shall lead thee to the Throne above : 

And thou from forth its clouds shall hear the voice, 

Champion of Freedom and her God ! rejoice ! 

XVII. 

COMPOSED ON A JOURNEY HOMEWARD \ THE AUTHOR HAVING RE- 
CEIVED INTELLIGENCE OF THE BIRTH OF A SON, SEPT. 20, 

1796. 

Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll 
Which makes the present (while the flash dost last) 
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past, 
Mixed with such feelings, as perplex the soul 
Self-questioned in her sleep : and some have saidf 
We lived ere yet this fleshy robe we wore. 

my sweet Baby ! when I reach my door, 

If heavy looks should tell me, thou wert dead 
(As sometimes, thro' excess of hope, I fear), 

1 think, that I should struggle to believe 
Thou wert a Spirit, to this nether sphere 
Sentenced for some more venial crime to griev 

Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick reprieve* 
While we wept idly o'er thy little bier. 

XVIII. 
TO THE AUTUMNAL MOON. 

Mild Splendor of the various-vested Night ! 
Mother of wildly- working visions ! hail ! 
I watch thy gliding, while with wat'ry light 
Thy weak eye glimmers thro* a fleecy veil ; 
And when thou lovest thy pale orb to shroud 
Behind the gathered blackness lost on high ; 
And when thou dartest from the wind-rent cloud 
Thy placid lightning o'er th' awakened sky. 
Ah, such is Hope ! as changeful and as fair ! 



* Gallic Liberty. 

t Hf irov rjnoiP n div^r) irpt.v ev roi&e to> avp9u)Tnv<u eiSei yeeecrflai. — Plat, in PhcedOTl. 



EARL Y POEMS. 99 



Now dimly peering on the wistful sight ; 
Now hid behind the dragon-winged Despair : 
But soon emerging in her radiant might, 
She o'er the sorrow-clouded breast of Care 
Sails, like a meteor kindling in its flight. 

XIX. 

TO A FRIEND, WHO ASKED HOW I FELT WHEN THE NURSE FIRST 
PRESENTED MY INFANT TO ME. 

Charles ! my slow heart was only sad, when first 
I scanned that face of feeble infancy ; 
For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst 
All I had been, and all my babe might be ! 
But when I saw it on its Mother's arm, 
And hanging at her bosom (she the while 
Bent o'er its features with a tearful smile), 
Then I was thrilled and melted, and most" warm 
Impressed a Father's kiss : and all beguiled 
Of dark remembrance, and presageful fear, 
I seemed to see an Angel's form appear — 
'Twas even thine, beloved Woman mild ! 
So for the Mother's sake the Child was dear, 
And dearer was the Mother for the Child. 

XX. 

The piteous sobs that choke the Virgin's breath 
For him, the fair betrothed Youth, who lies 
Cold in the narrow dwelling, or the cries 

With which a Mother wails her DarlingVdeath, 

These from our Nature's common impulse spring 
Unblamed, unpraised ; but o'er the piled earth, 
Which hides the sheeted corse of gray-haired Worthy 

If droops the soaring Youth with slackened wing ; 

If he recall in saddest minstrelsy 
Each tenderness bestowed, each truth impressed ; 

Such Grief is Reason, Virtue, Piety ! 

And from the Almighty Father shall descend 
Comforts on his late Evening, whose young breast 

Mourns with no transient love the aged friend. 

XXI. 

Pensive, at eve, on the hard world I mused, 
And my poor heart was sad : so at the moon 



ioo COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



I gazed — and sighed, and sighed — for, ah ! how soon 

Eve darkens into night. Mine eye perused, 

With tearful vacancy, the dampy grass, 

Which wept and glittered in the paly ray, 

And I did pause me on my lonely way, 

And mused me on those wretched ones, who pass 

O'er the black heath of Sorrow. But, alas ! 

Most of myself I thought : when it befell, 

That the sooth Spirit of the breezy wood 

Breathed in mine ear — ' All this is very well ; 

But much of one thing is for no thing good.' 

Ah I my poor heart's inexplicable swell 1 

XXII. 
TO SIMPLICITY. 

! I do love thee, meek Simplicity ! 

For of thy lays the lulling simpleness 

Goes to my heart, and soothes each small distress — 

Distress tho' small, yet haply great to me 1 

'Tis true, on Lady Fortune's gentlest pad 

I amble on ; yet tho' I know not why, 

So sad I am ! but should a friend and I 

Grow cool and miff, O ! I am very sad ! 

And then with sonnets and with sympathy 

My dreamy bosom's mystic woes I pall ; 

Now of my false friend plaining plaintively, 

Now raving at mankind in general : 

But whether sad or fierce, 'tis simple all, 

All very simple, meek Simplicity. 



A COUPLET, 

WRITTEN IN A VOLUME OF POEMS PRESENTED 

BY MR. COLERIDGE TO DR. A., 

A HIGHLY RESPECTED FRIEND, THE LOSS OF WHOSE 
SOCIETY HE DEEPLY REGRETTED. 

To meet, to know, to love — and then to part, 
Is the sad tale of many a human heart. 



THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. 



IN SEVEN PARTS. 



1798. 



Facile credo, piures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. 
Sed horum omnium farniliam quis nobis enarrabit? etgradusetcognationes et discrim- 
i;ia et singulorum munera ? Quid agunt ? quae loca habitant ? Harum rerum notitiam 
semper ambivit ingenium bumanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, 
quandoque in animo, tanqurm in Tabula, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contem- 
plari : ne mens assuefacat hodiernal vit33 minutiis se contrabat minis, et tota subsidat 
in pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, 
utcerta ab incertis, diem a uocte, distinguamus. 

T. Burnet : Arch^ol. Phil., p. 68. 



It is an ancient Mariner, 

And he stoppeth one of three, 

1 By thy long gray beard and glittering eye, 

Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ? 

1 The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide, 
And I am next of kin ; 
The guests are met, the feast is set : 
May'st hear the merry din.' 

He holds him with his skinny hand, 

' There was a ship,' quoth he. 

1 Hold off ! unhand me, gray-beard loon I ■ 

Eftsoons his hand dropt he. 

He holds him with his glittering eye — 
The Wedding-Guest stood still, 
And listens like a three years' child : 
The Mariner hath his will. 

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone ; 
He cannot choose but hear; 
And thus spake on that ancient man, 
The bright-eyed Mariner. 

The ship was cheered, the harbor cleared, 

Merrily did we drop 

Below the kirk, below the hill, 

IJelow the lighthouse top. 



An ancient 
Mariner meet- 
eth three Gal- 
lants bidden to 
a wedding- 
feast, and de- 
tainetb one. 



The Wedding- 
Guest is spell- 
bound by the 
eye of the old 
sea-faring 
man, and con« 
strained to 
hear bis tale. 



(X«l) 



102 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



The Mariner 
tells how the 
ship sailed 
southward 
with good 
wind and fair 
weather, till 
it reached the 
Line. 



The Sun came up upon the left 
Out of the sea came he ! 
And he shone bright, and on the right 
Went down into the sea. 

Higher and higher every day, 

Till over the mast at noon — 

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, 

For he heard the loud bassoon. 



The Wedding- 
Guest heareth 
the bridal 
music ; but 
the Mariner 
continueth his 
tale. 



The bride hath paced into the hall, 
Red as a rose is she ; 
Nodding their heads before her goes 
The merry minstrelsy. 

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast, 
Yet he cannot choose but hear ; 
And thus spake on that ancient ma* 
The bright-eyed Mariner. 



The ship 
drawn by a 
Btorm toward 
the south pole. 



And now the Storm-blast came, and he 
Was tyrannous and strong : 
He struck with his o'ertaking wings, 
And chased us south along. 



With sloping masts and dipping prow, 

As who pursued with yell and blow 

Still treads the shadow of his foe 

And forward bends his head, 

The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast, 

And southward aye we fled. 

And now there came both mist and snow, 
And it grew wondrous cold : 
And ice, mast-high, came floating by, 
As green as emerald. 



The land of 
ice, and of 
fearful 

sounds, where 
no living 
thing was to be 
seen. 



And through the drifts the snowy clifts 
Did send a dismal sheen : 
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— 
The ice was all between. 

The ice was here, the ice was there, 

The ice was all around : 

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled* 

Like noises in a s wound I 



At length did cross an Albatross : 
Through the fog it came ; 
As if it had been a Christian soul, 
We hailed it in God's name. 

It ate the food it ne'er had eat, 
And round and round it flew. 
The ice did split with a thunder-fit ; 
The helmsman steered us through ! 

And a good south wind sprung up behind *, 

The Albatross did follow, 

And every day, for food or play, 

Came to the mariners' hollo ! 

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, 

It perched for vespers nine ; 

Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, 

Glimmered the white Moon-shine. 

1 God save thee, ancient Mariner ! 
From the fiends, that plague thee thus ! — 
Why look'st thou so ? ' — With my cross-bow 
I shot the Albatross. 



Till a great 
sea-bird, 
called the 
Albatross, 
came through 
the snow-fog, 
and was re- 
ceived with 
great joy and 
hospitality. 



And lo ! the 
Albatross 
proveth a bird 
of good omen, 
and followeth 
the ship as it 
returned 
northward, 
through fog 
and floating 
ice. 



The ancient 
Mariner 
inhospitably 
killeth the 
pious bird of 
good omen. 



PART THE SECOND. 

The Sun now rose upon the right 
Out of the sea came he, 
Still hid in mist, and on the left 
Went down into the sea. 

And the good south wind still blew behind, 
But no sweet bird did follow, 
Nor any day, for food or play, 
Came to the mariners' hollo ! 

And I had done an hellish thing, 

And it would work 'em woe : 

For all averred, I had killed the bird 

That made the breeze to blow. 

Ah, wretch ! said they, the bird to slay, 

That made the breeze to blow ! 

Nor dim nor red, like God's own head, 

The glorious Sun uprist : 

Then all averred, I had killed the bird 

That brought the fog and mist. 

'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, 

That bring the fog and mist. 



His ship- 
mates cry oat 
against the 
ancient Mari- 
ner, for kill in 
the bird of 
good luck. 



But when the 
fog cleared 
off, they jus- 
tify the same, 
and thus make 
themselves 
accomplices 
in the crime. 



104 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



The fair 
breeze con- 
tinues ; the 
biiip enters 
the Pacific 
Ocean and 
sails north- 
ward, even 
till it reaches 
the Line. 
The ship hath 
been suddenly 
b -calmed 



And the Al- 
batross begins 
to be avenged. 



The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew. 

The furrow followed free : 

We were the first that ever burst 

Into that silent sea. 

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 
'Twas sad as sad could be ; 
And we did speak only to break 
The silence of the sea I 

All in a hot and copper sky, 
The bloody Sun, at noon, 
Right up above the mast did stand, 
No bigger than the Moon. 

Bay after day, day after day, 
We stuck, nor breath nor motion 5 
As idle as a painted ship 
Upon a painted ocean. 

Water, water, every where, 
And all the boards did shrink ; 
Water, water, every where, 
Nor any drop to drink. 

The very deep did rot : O Christ ! 
That ever this should be ! 
Yea, slimy things did crawl with 
Upon the slimy sea. 

About, about, in reel and rout 
The death fires danced at night ; 
The waier, like a witch's oils, 
Burnt green, and blue, and white. 



And some in dreams assured were 
Of the spirit that plagued us so : 
Nine fathom deep he had followed us 
From the land of mist and snow. 



A spirit haa 

followed 

them ; one of 

the invisible 

inhabitants of 

this planet, 

neither depar- 

ted souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic 

Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, a»d 

there is no climate or element without one or more. 



And every tongue, through utter drought, 
Was withered at the root ; 
We could not speak, no more than if 
We had been choked with soot. 



Ah ! well-a-day ! what evil looks 
Had I from old and young ! 
Instead of the cross, the Albatross 
About my neck was hung. 



PART THE THIRD. 

There passed a weary time. Each throat 

Was parched, and glazed each eye. 

A weary time ! a weary time ! 

How glazed each weary eye, 

When looking westward I beheld 

A something in the sky. 

At first it seemed a little speck, 
And then it seemed a mist : 
It moved and moved, and took at last 
A certain shape, I wist. 

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist ! 
And still it neared and neared : 
As if it dodged a water-sprite, 
It plunged and tacked and veered. 

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, 

We could not laugh nor wail ; 

Through utter doubt all dumb we stood ' 

I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, 

And cried, A sail ! a sail ! 

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked 
Agape they heard me call : 
Gramercy ! they for joy did grin, 
And all at once their breath drew in, 
As they were drinking all. 

See ! see ! (I cried) she tacks no more I 
Hither to work us weal ; 
Without a breeze, without a tide, 
She steadies with upright keel ! 

The western wave was all aflame, 
The day was well-nigh done ! 
Almost upon the western wave 
Rested the broad bright Sun ; 
When that strange ship drove suddenly 
Betwixt us and the Sun. 



The ship- 
mates in thsir 
sore distress 
would fain 
throw the 
whole guilt on 
the ancient 
Mariner : in 
sign whereof 
they hang the 
dead sea-bird 
round his 
neck. 



The ancient 
•Mariner be- 
holdeth a sign 
in the element 
afar off. 



At its nearer 
approach, it 
seemeth him 
to be a ship ; 
and at a dear 
ransom he 
freeth his 
speech from 
the bonds of 
thirst. 

A flash of joy. 



And horror 
follows. For 
can it be a 
ship that 
comes onward 
without wind 
or tide ? 



T06 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



It seemeth 
him but the 
skeleton of a 
ship. 



And its ribs 
are seen as 
bars on the 
face of the set- 
ting Sun. 
The spectre- 
woman and her 
death-mate, 
and no other on 
board the skel- 
eton-ship. 
.Like vessel, 
like crew! 



Death and 
Life-in- 
J >eath have 
diced for the 
ship's crew, 
and she (the 
latter) wmneth 
the ancient 
M ariner. 
No twilight 
within the 
courts of the 
sun. 

At the rising 
of the Moon. 



One after 
another, 



His shipmates 
dr. p down 
dead j 



And straight the Sun was necked with bars, 
(Heaven's Mother send us grace !) 
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered, 
With broad and burning face. 

Alas ! (thought I* and my heart beat loud,) 
How fast she nears and nears ! 
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, 
Like restless gossameres ! 

Are those her ribs through which the Sun 
Did peer, as through a grate ? 
And is that Woman all her crew ? 
Is that a Death ? and are there two ? 
Is Death that Woman's mate ? 

Her lips were red, her looks were free, 
Her locks were yellow as gold : 
Her skin was as white as leprosy, 
The Night-Mare Life-in-Death was she, 
Who thicks man's blood with cold. 

The naked hulk alongside came, 
And the twain were casting dice ; 
' The game is dene ! I've, I've won ! ' 
Quoth she, and whistles thrice. 

The Sun's rim dips ; the stars rush out : 
At one stride comes the dark ; 
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea, 
Off shot the spectre-bark. 

We listened and looked sideways up ! 

Fear at my heart, as at a cup, 

My life-blood seemed to sip ! 

The stars were dim, and thick the night, 

The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed whit' j 

From the sails the dew did drip — 

Till clombe above the eastern bar 

The horned Moon, with one bright star 

Within the nether tip. 

One after one, by the star-dogged Moon, 
Too quick for groan or sigh, 
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, 
And cursed me with his eye. 

Four times fifty living men 
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan), 



THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. 



10; 



With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, 
They dropped down one by one. 

The souls did from their bodies fly,- 
They fled to bliss or woe ! 
And every soul, it passed me by, 
Like the whizz of my cross-bow ! 



But Life-in- 
Death be- 
gins her work 
on the ancient 
Mariner. 



PART THE FOURTH. 



1 1 fear thee, ancient Mariner ! 

I fear thy skinny hand ! 

And thou art long, and lank, and brown, 

As is the ribbed sea-sand.* 

' I fear thee, and thy glittering eye, 
And thy skinny hand, so brown.' — 
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest ! 
This body dropt not down. 

Alone, alone, all,. all alone, 
Alone on a wide wide sea ! 
And never a saint took pity on 
My soul in agony. 

The many men, so beautiful ! 

And they all dead did lie ; 

And a thousand thousand slimy things 



The Wedding, 
Guest feareth 
that a spirit is 
talking to him \ 



But the an- 
cient Mariner 
assureth him 
of his bodily 
life, and pro- 
ceedeth to re- 
late his horri- 
ble penance. 



He despiseth 
the creatures 
of the calm, 



I looked upon the rotting sea, 
And drew my eyes away ; 
I looked upon the rotting deck, 
And there the dead men lay. 

I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray 
But or ever a prayer had gusht, 
A wicked whisper came, and made 
My heart as dry as dust. 

I closed my lids, and kept them close, 

And the balls like pulses beat ; 

For tbe^sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky, 

Lay like a load on my weary eye, 

And the dead were at my feet. 

* For the two last lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Mr. 
Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nether Stowey to 
Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the Autumn of 1797, that this 
Poem was planned, and in part composed. 



And envieth 
that they 
should live, 
and so many 
lie dead. 



/ 



But the curse 
liveth for him 
in the eye of 
the dead men. 



The cold sweat melted from their limbs, 
Nor rot nor reek did they : 
The look with which they looked on me 
Had never passed away. 



An orphan's curse would drag to Hell 

A spirit from on high ; 

But oh ! more horrible than that 

Is a curse in a dead man's eye ! 

Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse. 

And yet I could not die. 

In his loneii- The moving Moon went up the sky, 

ness and fixed- And no where did abide : 

ness he yearn- o *j_i i_ 

eth towards Softly she was going up, 

the journeying And a star or two beside — 

iJoon, and the 

stars that still 

sojourn, yet still move onward ; and everywhere the blue sky belongs to them, and is 

their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they 

enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected and yet there is a silent joy 

at their arrival. 

Her beams bemocked the sultry main, 
Like April hoar-frost spread ; 
But where the ship's huge shadow lay, 
The charmed water burnt alway 
A still and awful red. 



By the light of 
the Moon he 
beholdeth 
God's crea- 
tures of the 
great calm. 



Beyond the shadow of the ship, 

I watched the water-snakes : 

They moved in tracks of shining white, 

And when they reared, the elfish light 

Fell off in ho.ary flakes. . 



Within the shadow of the ship 

I watched their rich attire : 

Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, 

They coiled and swam ; and every track 

Was a flash of golden fire. 



V *eir beauty 
h, d their 
hnppiness. 



Hb b>sseth 
theu> in his 
hea.t. 



O happy living things ! no tongue 

Their beauty might declare : 

A spring of love gushed from my heart, 

And I blessed them unaware ! 

Sure my kind saint took pity on me, 

And I blessed them unaware. 



The self same moment I could pray ; 
And from my neck so free 
The Albatross fell off, and sunk 
lake lead into the sea. 



The spell be- 
gins to break. 



PART THE FIFTH. 

Oh sleep ! it is a gentle thing, 
Beloved from pole to pole ! 
To Mary Queen the praise be given ! 
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, 
That slid into my soul. 

The silly buckets on the deck, 

That had so long remained, 

I dreamt that they were filled with dew ; 

And when I woke, it rained. 

My lips were wet, my throat was cold, 
My garments all were dank ; 
Sure I had drunken in my dreams, 
And still my body drank. 



By grace of 
the holy 
Mother, the 
ancient Mari- 
ner is refreshed 
with rain. 



I moved, and could not feel my limbs : 
I was so light — almost 
I thought that I had died in sleep, 
And was a blessed ghost. 

And soon I heard a roaring wind : 
It did not come anear ; 
But with its sound it shook the sails, 
That were so thin and sere. 

The upper air burst into life ! 
And a hundred fire-flags sheen, 
To and fro they were hurried about } 
And to and fro, and in and out, 
The wan stars danced between. 

And the coming wind did roar more loud, 

And the sails did sigh like sedge ; 

And the rain poured down from one black cloud ; 

The Moon was at its edge. 

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still 
The Moon was at its side : 



He heareth 
sounds, and 
seeth strange 
sights and 
commotions in 
the sky and 
the element. 



no 



COLERIDGE \S POEMS. 



Like waters shot from some high crag, 
The lightning fell with never a jag, 
A river steep and wide. 

The loud wind never reached the ship, 
Yet now the ship moved on ! 
Beneath the lightning and the Moon 
The dead men gave a groan. 

They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose> 
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes ; 
It had been strange, even in a dream, 
To have seen those dead men rise. 



The bodies of 
the 6hip's 
crew are in- 
spired, and 
the ship moves 
on. 



But not by 
the souls of 
the men, nor 
by daemons of 
earth or mid- 
dle air, but by 
a blessed troop 
< f angelic 
3pirits,sent 
down by the 
invocation of 
the guardian 
i ain't. 



The helmsman steered , the ship moved on ; 

Yet never a breeze up blew ; 

The mariners all 'gan work the ropes, 

Where they were wont to do : 

They raised their limbs like lifeless tools — 

We were a ghastly crew. 

The body of my brother's son 
Stood by me, knee to knee : 
The body and I pulled at one rope, 
But he said naught to me. 

1 1 fear thee, ancient Mariner ! ' 
Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest ! 
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, 
Which to their corses came again, 
But a troop of spirits blest : 

For when it dawned — they dropped their arms, 
And clustered round the mast ; 
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths, 
And from their bodies passed. 

Around, around, flew each sweet sound, 
Then darted to the Sun ; 
Slowly the sounds came back again, 
Now mixed, now one by one. 

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky 
I heard the sky-lark sing ; 
Sometimes all little birds that are, 
How they seemed to fill the sea and air 
With their sweet jargoning ! 



THE RIME OF THE 'ANCIENT MARINER. 



ill 



And now 'twas like all instruments, 
Now like a lonely flute ; 
And now it is an angel's song, 
That makes the Heavens be mute. 

It ceased ; yet still the sails made on 

A pleasant noise till noon, 

A noise like of a hidden brook 

In the leafy month of June, 

That to the sleeping woods all night 

Singeth a quiet tune. 

Till noon we quietly sailed on, 
Yet never a breeze did breathe : 
SJowly and smoothly went the ship, 
Moved onward from beneath. 

Under the keel nine fathom deep, 
From the land of mist and snow, 
The spirit slid : and it was he 
That made the ship to go. 
The sails at noon left off their tune 
And the ship stood still also. 

The Sun, right up above the mast, 
Had fixed her to the ocean : 
But in a minute she 'gan stir, 
With a short uneasy motion — 
Backwards and forwards half her length 
With a short uneasy motion. 

Then like a pawing horse let go, 
She made a sudden bound ; 
It flung the blood into my head, 
And I fell down in a swound. 

How long in that same fit I lay, 
I have not to declare ; 
But ere my living life returned, 
I heard and in my soul discerned 

Two voices in the air. 

1 Is it he ? ' quoth one, ' Is this the man ? 

By him who died on cross, 

With his cruel bow he laid full low, 

The harmless Albatross. 

' The spirit who bideth by himself 
In the land of mist and snow, 
He loved the bird that loved the man 
Who shot him^with his bow/ 



The lonesome 
spirit from the 
south pole 
carries on the 
ship as far as 
the Line, in 
obedience to 
the angelic 
troop, but 
still requireth 
vengeance. 



The Polar 

Spirits fel- 
low-daemons, 
the invisible 
inhabitants of 
the element, 
take part in 
his wrong : 
and two of 
them relate, 
one to the 
other, that 
penance long 
and heavy for 
the ancient 
Mariner hath 
been accorded 
to the Polar 
Spirit, who 
returneth 
southward. 



JT2 



COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



The other was a softer voice, 

As soft as honey-dew : 

Quoth he, ' The man hath penance done* 

And penance more will do.' 



PART THE SIXTH. 
FIRST VOICE. 



But tell me, tell me ! speak again, 
Thy soft response renewing — 
What makes that ship drive on so fast ? 
What is the Ocean doing ? 



SECOND VOICE. 

Still as a slave before his lord, 
The Ocean hath no blast ; 
His great bright eye most silently 
Up to the Moon is cast — 

If he may know which way to go ; 
For she guides him smooth or grim. 
See, brother, see ! how graciously 
She looketh down on nini. 



The Mariner 
hath been cast 
into a trance ; 
for the angelic 
power causeth 
the vessel to 
drive north- 
ward faster 
than human 
life could 
endure. 



The supernat- 
ural motion is 
retarded ; the 
Mariner 
awakes, and 
bis penance 
begins anew. 



FIRST VOICE. 

But why drives on that ship so fast. 
Without or wave or wind ? 



SECOND VOICE. 

The air is cut away before, 
And closes from behind. 

Fly, brother, fly ! more high, more high f 
Or we shall be belated : 
For slow and slow that ship will go, 
When the Mariner's trance is abated. 

I woke, and we were sailing on 

As in a gentle weather : 

'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high $ 

The dead men stood together. 



THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. 1 13 

All stood together on the deck, 
For a charnel-dungeon fitter : 
All fixed on me their stony eye 
That in the Moon did glitter. 

The pang, the curse, with which they died, 

Had never passed away : 

I could not draw my eyes from theirs, 

Nor turn them up to pray. 

And now this spell was snapt : once more itoe curae to 

I viewed the ocean green, ated. y expi " 

And looked far forth, yet little saw 

Of what had else been seen — 

Like one, that on a lonesome road 
Doth walk in fear and dread, 
And having once turned round walks on 
And turns no more his head ; 
Because he knows, a frightful fiend 
Doth close behind him tread. 

But soon there breathed a wind on me, 
Nor sound nor motion made : 
Its path was not upon the sea, 
In ripple or in shade. 

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek 
Like a meadow-gale of spring — 
It mingled strangely with my fears, 
Yet it felt like a welcoming. 

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, 
Yet she sailed softly too : 
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze — 
On me alone it blew. 

Oh ! dream of joy ! is this indeed A nd the a P _ 

The light-house top I see ? SkShiliJ 

Is this the hill ? is this the kirk ? native 

Is this mine own countree ? eountry. 

We drifted o'er the harbor-bar, 
And I with sobs did pray — 
O let me be awake, my God! 
Or let me sleep alway. 

The 'harbor-bay was clear as glass, 
So smoothly it was strewn ! 
And on the bay/fche moonlight lay, 
And the shadow of the moon. 

8 



H4 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



The angelic 
spirits leave 
the dead 
bodies, 

And appear 
in their own 
forms of light. 



The rock shone bright, the kirk no less, 
That stands above the rock : 
The moonlight steeped in silentness 
The steady weathercock. 

And the bay was white with silent light, 
Till rising from the same, 
Full many shapes, that shadows were, 
In crimson colors came. 

A little distance from the prow 
Those crimson shadows were : 
I turned my eyes upon the deck— 
Oh, Christ ! what saw I there ! 



Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, 
And, by the holy rood ! 
A man all light, a seraph-man, 
On every corse there stood. 

This seraph-band, each waved his hand 
It was a heavenly sight ! 
They stood as signals to the land, 
Each one a- lovely light : 

This seraph-band, each waved his hand, 
No voice did they impart — 
No voice ; but oh ! the silence sank 
Like music on my heart. 

But soon I heard the dash of oar?, 
I heard the Pilot's cheer ; 
My head was turned perforce away, 
And I saw a boat appear. 

The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy, 
I heard them coming fast : 
Dear Lord in Heaven ! it was a joy 
The dead men could not blast. 



I saw a third — I heard his voice : 

It is the Hermit good ! 

He singeth loud his godly hymns 

That he makes in the wood. 

He'll shrive my soul, he'll wash away 

The Albatross's blood. 



" 



THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. 115 

PART THE SEVENTH. 

This Hermit good lives in that wood The Hermit oi 

Which slopes down to the sea. the Wood - 

How loudly his sweet voice he rears ! 
He loves to talk with marineres 
That come from a far countree. 

He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve — 

He hath a cushion plump : 

It is the moss that wholly hides 

The rotted old oak-stump. 

The skiff-boat neared : I heard them talk, 

* Why this is strange, I trow ! 

Where are those lights so many and fair, 
That signal made but now ? ' 

* Strange, by my faith ! ' the Hermit said — Approacheth 
' And they answered not our cheer ! wonder.' ^ 
The planks looked warped ! and see those sails 

How thin they are and sere ! 
I never saw aught like to them, 
Unless perchance it were 

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag 
My forest-brook along ; 
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, 
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below 
That eats the she-wolfs young.' 

1 Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look 
(The Pilot made reply) 
I am a-f eared ' — ' Push en, push on!' 
Said the hermit cheerily. 

The boat came closer to the ship, 
But I nor spake nor stirred ; 
The boat came close beneath the ship, 
And straight a sound was heard. 

Under the water it rumbled on, The ship sud- 

Still louder and^iore dread : d«my sinketh 
It reached the ship, it split the bay ; 
The ship went down like lead. 



The ancient 
Mariner is 
saved in the 
Pilot's boat. 



The ancient 
Mariner 
earnestly en- 
treateth the 
Hermit to 
shrieve him; . 
and the pen- 
ance of life 
falls on him. 



And ever and 
anon through- 
out his future 
life an agony 
constrainetli 
him to travel 
from land to 
laud. 



Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, 

Which sky and ocean smote, 

Like one that hath been seven days drowned 

My body lay afloat ; 

But swift as dreams, myself I found 

Within the Pilot's boat. 

Upon the whirl, where sank the ship, 
The boat spun round and round ; 
And all was still, save that the hill 
Was telling of the sound. 

I moved my lips — the Pilot shrieked 
And fell down in a fit ; 
The holy Hermit raised his eyes 
And prayed where he did sit. 

I took the oars : the Pilot's boy, 

Who now doth crazy go, 

Laughed loud and long, and all the while 

His eyes went to and fro. 

■ Ha ! ha ! ' quoth he, ' full plain I see, 

The Devil knows how to row.' * 

And now, all in my own countree, 

I stood on the firm land ! 

The Hermit stepped forth from the boat, 

And scarcely he could stand. 

'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man I f 
The Hermit crossed his brow. 
1 Say quick,' quoth he, ' I bid thee say — 
What manner of man art thou ? ' 

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched 

With a woeful agony, 

Which forced me to begin my tale ', 

And then it left me free. 

Since then, at an uncertain hour, 
That agony returns ; 
And till my ghastly tale is told, 
This heart within me burns. 

I pass, like night, from land to land ; 
I have strange power of speech ; 
That moment that his face I see, 
I know the man that must hear me: 
To him my tale I teach. 



THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER. 



II? 



And to teach, 
by his own 
example, 
love and 
reverence to 
all things that 
God made and 
oveth. 



What loud uproar bursts from that door 1 
The wedding-guests are there : 
But in the garden-bower the bride 
And bride-maids singing are ; 
And hark the little vesper bell, 
Which biddeth me to prayer I 

O Wedding-Guest ! this soul hath been 
Alone on a wide wide sea : 
So lonely 'twas, that God himself 
Scarce seemed there to be. 

O sweeter than the marriage-feast, 
'Tis sweeter far to me, 
To walk together to the kirk 
With a goodly company ! — 

To walk together to the kirk, 

And all together pray, 

While each to his great Father bends, 

Old men, and babes, and loving friends, 

And youths and maidens gay ! 

Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell 
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest ! 
He prayeth well, who 1 oveth wel) 
Both man and bird and beast. 

He prayeth best, who loveth best 
All things both great and small ; 
For the dear God who loveth us, 
He made and loveth all. 



The Mariner, whose eye is bright, 
Whose beard with age is hoar, 
Is gone : and now the Wedding-Guest 
Turned from the bridegroom's door. 

He went like one that hath been stunned* 
And is of sense forlorn : 
A sadder and a wiser man, 
H© rose the morrow morn. 



CHRISTABEL. 



PREFACE* 

The first part of the following poem -was written in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and ninety-seven, at Stowey, in the county of Somerset. The second part, 
after my return from Germany, in the year one thousand eight hundred, at Keswick, 
Cumberland. Since the latter date, my poetic powers have been, till very lately, in a 
state of suspended animation. But as, in my very first conception of the tale, I had 
che whole present to my mind, with the wholeness no less than with the loveliness, of 
a vision ; I trust that I shall yet be able to embody in verse the three parts yet to 
come. 

It is probable, that if the poem had been finished at either of the former periods, or 
if even the first and second part had been finished in the year 1800, the impression of 
its originality would have been much greater than I dare at presenl expect. But for 
this, 1 have only my own indolence to blame. The dates are mentioned for the exclu- 
sive purpose of precluding charges of plagiarism or servile imitation from myself. For 
there is among us a set of critics, who seem to hold that every possible thought and 
image is traditional ; who have no notion that there are such things as fountains in 
the world, small as well as great ; and who would, therefore, charitably derive every 
rill they behold flowing, for a perforation made in some other man's tank. I am con- 
fident, however, that as far as the present poem is concerned, the celebrated poets 
whose writings I might be suspected of having imitated, either in particular passages, 
or in the tone and the spirit of the whole, would be among the first to vindicate me from 
the charge, and who, on any striking coincidence, would permit me to address them in 
this doggerel version of two monkish Latin hexameters • 

'Tis mine and it is likewise yours, 
But an if this wiil "Ot do, 
Let it be mine, good friend ! fori 
Am the poorer of the two. 

I have only to add, that the metre of the Christabel is not, properly speaking, irreg- 
ular, though it may seem so from its being founded on a new principle : namely, that 
of counting in each line the accents, not the syllables. Though the latler ruay vary 
from seven to twelve, yet in each line the accents will be found to be only four. 
Nevertheless, this .occasional variation in number of syllables is not introduced wan- 
tonly, or for the mere ends of convenience, but in correspondence with some transition 
in the nature of the imagery or passion. 

PART THE FIRST. 



Tis the middle of the night by 

the castle clock, 
And the owls have awakened 

the crowing cock ! 

Tu— whit ! Tu— whoo ! 

And hark, again! the crowing 

cock, 
How drowsily it crew. 



Sir Leoline, the Baron rich^^^ 
Hath a toothless mastiff, which 
From her kennel beneath the 

rock 
Maketh answer to the clock, 
Four for the quarters, 

twelve for the hour ; 
Ever and aye, by shine 

shower, 



and 



and 



a is) 



* To the edition of 1816. 



CHRISTABEL. 



119 



Sixteen short howls, not over 

loud : 
Some say, she sees my lady's 

shroud. 

Is the night chilly and dark ? 
The night is chilly, but not dark. 
The thin gray cloud is spread on 

high, 
It covers but not hides the sky. 
The moon is behind, and at the 

full; 
I And yet she looks both small 

and dull. 
The night is chill, the cloud is 

gray: 
'Tis a month before the month 

of May, 
And the spring comes slowly up 

this way. 

The lovely lady, Christabel, 
Whom her father loves so well, 
What makes her in the wood so 

late, 
A furlong from the castle gate ? 
She had dreams all yesternight 
Of her own betrothed knight ; 
And she in the midnight wood 

will pray 
For the weal of her lover that's 

far away. 

She stole along, she nothing 

spoke, 
The sighs she heaved were soft 

and low, 
And naught was green upon the 

oak, 
But moss and rarest mistletoe : 
She kneels beneath the huge oak 

tree,' 
And in silence prayeth she. 

The lady sprang^up suddenly, 
The lovely lady/ Christabel ! 
It moaned as near, as near can 
be, 



But what it is, she cannot tell. — 
On the other side it seems to be, 
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old 
oak tree. 

The night is chill ; the forest 

bare; 
Is it the wind that moaneth 

bleak ? 
There is not wind enough in the 

air 
To move away the ringlet curl 
From the lovely lady's cheek — 
There is not wind enough to 

twirl 
The one red leaf, the last of its 

clan, 
That dances as often as dance it 

can, 
Hanging so light, and hanging 

so high, 
On the topmost twig that looks 

up at the sky. 

Hush, beating heart of Chris- 
tabel ! 

Jesu. Maria, shield her well ! 

She folded her arms beneath her 
cloak, 

And stole to the other side of the 
oak. 
What sees she there ? 

There she sees a damsel bright, 
Drest in a silken robe of white, 
That shadowy in the moonlight 

shone : 
The neck that made that white 

robe wan, 
Her stately neck, and arms were 

bare ; 
Her blue-veined feet unsandaled 

were ; 
And wildly glittered here and 

there 
The gems entangled in her hair. 



120 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



I guess, 'twas frightful there to 

see — 
A lady so richly clad as she — 
Beautiful exceedingly I 

Mary, mother, save me now ! 
(Said Christabel), And who art 

thou ? 
The lady strange made answer 

meet, 
And her voice was faint and 

sweet : — 
Have pity on my sore distress, 
I scarce can speak for weariness. 
Stretch forth thy hand, and have 

no fear, 
Said Christabel, How earnest 

thou here ? 
And the lady, whose voice was 

faint and sweet, 
Did thus pursue her answer 

meet : — 
My sire is of a noble line, 
And my name is Gferaldine : 
Five warriors seized me yester- 

morn, 
Me, even me, a maid forlorn : 
They choked my cries with force 

and fright, 
And tied me on a palfrey white. 
The palfrey was as fleet as wind, 
And they rode furiously behind, 
They spurred amain, their steeds 

were white ; 
And once we crossed the shade 

of night. 
As sure as Heaven shall rescue 

me, 
i have no thought what men 

they be ; 
Nor do I know how long it is 
(For I have lain entranced I wis) 
Since one, the tallest of the five, 
Took me from the palfrey's 

back, 
A weary woman, scarce alive. 



Some muttered words his com- 
rades spoke : 
He placed me underneath this 

oak, 
He swore they would return with 

haste ', 
Whither they went I cannot 

tell— 
I thought I heard, some minutes 

past, 
Sounds as of a castle bell, 
Stretch forth thy hand (thus 

ended she), 
And help a wretched maid to 

flee. 



Then Christabel stretched forth 

her hand 
And comforted fair Geraldine : 
O well bright dame may you 

command 
The service of Sir Leoline ; 
And gladly our stout chivalry 
Will he send forth and friends 

withal 
To guide and guard you safe 

and free 
Home to your noble father's hall. 
She rose : and forth with steps 

they passed 
That strove to be, and were not, 

fast. 
Her gracious stars the lady 

blest, 
And thus spake on sweet Chris- 

tabel ; 
All our household are at rest, 
The hall as silent as the cell, 
Sir Leoline is weak in health 
And may not well awakened be, 
But we will move as if in 

stealth : 
And I beseech your courtesy 
This night, to share your coucb 

with me. 



CHRISTABEL. 



121 



They crossed the moat, and 

Christabel 
Took the key that fitted well ; 
A little door she opened straight, 
All in the middle of the gate ; 
The gate that was ironed within 

and without, 
Where an army in battle-array 

had marched out ; 
The lady sank, belike through 

pain, 
And Christabel with might and 

main 
Lifted her up, a weary weight, 
Over the threshold of the gate : 
Then the lady rose again, 
And moved, as she were not in 

paim 

So free from danger, free from 

fear, 
They crossed the court: right 

glad they were. 
And Christabel devoutly cried 
To the lady by her side, 
Praise we the Virgin all divine 
Who hath rescued thee from thy 

distress ! 
Alas, alas ! said Geraldine, 
I cannot speak for weariness. 
So free from danger, free from 

fear, 
They crossed the court : right 

glad they were. 

Outside her kennel, the mastiff 

old 
Lay fast asleep, in moonshine 

cold. 
The mastiff old did not awake, 
Yet she an angry moan did 

make ! i 

And what cani ail the mastiff 

bitch > 
Never till now she uttered yell 
Beneath the eye of Christabel. 



Perhaps it is the owlet's scritch: 
For what can ail the mastiff 
bitch ? 

They passed the hall, that echoes 

still, 
Pass as lightly as you will ! 
The brands were flat, the brands 

were dying, 
Amid their own white ashes 

lying ; 
But when the lady passed, there 

came 
A tongue of light, a fit of flame ; 
And Christabel saw the lady's 

eye, 
And nothing else saw she there- 
by, 
Save the boss of the shield of 

Sir Leoline tall, 
Which hung in a murky old 

niche in the wall. 
O softly tread, said Christabel, 
My father seldom sleepeth well. 

Sweet Christabel her feet doth 

bare, 
And jealous of the listening air 
They steal their way from stair 

to stair, 
Now in glimmer, and now in 

gloom, 
And now they pass the Baron's 

room, 
As still as death, with stifled 

breath ! 
And now have reached her 

chamber door ; 
And now doth Geraldine press 

down 
The rushes of the chamber floor. 

The moon shines dim in the open 

air, 
And not a moonbeam enters 

here. 



122 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



But they without its light can 

see 
The chamber carved so curi- 
ously, 
Carved with figures strange and 

sweet, 
All made out of the carver's 

brain, 
For a lady's chamber meet : 
The lamp with twofold silver 

chain 
Is fastened to an angel's feet. 
The silver lamp burns dead and 

dim ; 
But Christabel the lamp will 

trim. 
She trimmed the lamp, and 

made it bright, 
And left it swinging to and fro, 
While Geraldine in wretched 

plight, 
Sank down upon the floor 

below. 



weary lady, Geraldine, 

1 pray you, drink this cordial 

wine ! ■ 

It is a wine of virtuous powers ; 

My mother made it of wild flow- 
ers. 

And will your mother pity me, 
Who am a maiden most forlorn ? 
Christabel answered — Woe is 

me ! 
She died the hour that I was 

born. 
I have heard the gray-haired 

friar tell, 
How on her death-bed she did 

say, 
That she should hear the castle 

bell 
Strike twelve upon my wedding 

day. 



mother dear ! that thou wert 

here 1 

1 would, said Geraldine, she 

were . 

But soon with altered voice, said 

she — 
1 Off, wandering mother ! Peak 

and pine ! 
I have power to bid thee flee.' 
Alas! what ails poor- Geraldine? 
Why stares she with unsettled 

eye? 
Can she the bodiless dead espy ? 
And why with hollow voice cries 

she, 
' Off, woman, off ! this hour is 

mine — 
Though thou her guardian spirit 

be, 
Off, woman, off! 'tis given tome.' 

Then Christabel knelt by the 

lady'c side, 
And raised to heaven her eyes so 

blue — 
Alas ! said she, this ghastly ride — 
Dear lady ! it hath wildered you ! 
The lady wiped her moist cold 

brow, 
And faintly said, ' 'tis over now ! ' 

Again the wild-flower wine she 

drank ! 
Her fair large eyes 'gan glitter 

bright, 
And from the floor whereon she 

sank, 
The lofty lady stood upright ; 
She was most beautiful to see, 
Like a lady of a far countree. 

And thus the lofty lady spake — ■ 
All they who live in the upper 

sky, 
Do love you, holy Christabel ! 
And you love them, and for their 

sake 



CHRISTABEL. 



123 



And for the good which me be- 
fell, 
Even I in my degree will try, 
Fair maiden, to requite you well. 
But now unrobe yourself ; for I 
Must pray, ere yet in bed I lie. 

Quoth Christabel, so let it be ! 
And as the lady bade, did she. 
Her gentle limbs did she undress, 
And lay down in her loveliness. 

But through her brain of weal 

and woe 
So many thoughts moved to and 

fro, 
That vain it were her lids to 

close ; 
So half-way from the bed she 

rose, 
And on her elbow did recline 
To look at the lady Geraldine. 

Beneath the lamp the lady 
bowed, 

And slowly rolled her eyes 
around ; 

Then drawing in her breath 
aloud, 

Like one that shuddered, she un- 
bound 

The cincture from beneath her 
breast : 

Her siiKen robe, and inner vest, 

Dropt to her feet, and full in 
view, 

Behold ! her bosom and half her 
side 

A sight to dream of, not to tell ! 

O shield her I shield sweet Chris- 
tabel! 

Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor 
stirs : 

Ah ! what a stricken look was 
hers ! J 

Deep from within she seems half- 
way 



To lift some weight with sick 

assay, 
And eyes the maid and seeks de- 
lay ; 
Then suddenly, as one defied, 
Collects herself in scorn and 

pride, 
And lay down by the Maiden's 

side ! — ■ 
And in her arms the maid she 

took, 

Ah, wel-a-day! 
And with low voice and doleful 

look 
These words did saj T : 
In the touch of this bosom there 

worketh a spell, 
Which is lord of thy utterance, 

Christabel I 
Thou knowest to-night, and wiH 

know to-morrow 
This mark of my shame, this seal 

of my sorrow ; 
But vainly thou warrest, 

For this is alone in 
Thy power to declare, 

That in the dim forest 
Thou heardesta low moaning, 
And found'st a bright lady, sur- 
passingly fair : 
And didst bring her home with 

thee in love and in charity, 
To shield her and shelter lies 

from the damp air. 



THE CONCLUSION TO PART TE!. 
FIRST. 

It was a lovely sight to see 
The lady Christabel, when she 
Was praying at the old oak tree 
Amid the jagged shadows 
Of mossy leafless boughs, 
Kneeling in the moonlight, 
To make her gentle vows j 



124 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Her slender palms together prest, 
Heaving sometimes on her 

breast ; 
Her face resigned to bliss or 

bale — 
Her face, oh call it fair not pale, 
And both blue eyes more bright 

than clear, 
Each about to have a tear. 
With open eyes (ah woe is me !) 
Asleep, and dreaming fearfully, 
Fearfully dreaming, yet I wis, 
Dreaming that alone, which is — 
sorrow and shame ! Can this 

be she, 
The lady who knelt at the old 

oak tree ? 
And lo ! the worker of these 

harms, 
That holds the maiden in her 

arms, 
Seems to slumber still and mild, 
As a mother with her child. 

A star hath set, a star hath i isen, 
Geraldine ! since arms of thine 
Have been the lovely lady's 

prison. 
O Geraldine ! one hour was thine 
Thou'st had thy will I By tairn 

and rill, 
The night-birds all that hour 

were still. 
But now they are jubilant anew, 
From cliff and tower, tu — whoo ! 

tu — whoo ! 
Tu — whoo ! tu — whoo ! from 

wood and fell ! 
And see ! the lady Christabel 
Gathers herself from out her 

trance ; 
Her limbs relax, her countenance 
Grows sad and soft ; the smooth 

thin lids 
Close o'er her eyes ; and tears 

she sheds — 



Large tears that leave the lasliea 

bright ! 
And oft the while she seems to 

smile 
As infants at a sudden light ! 
Yea, she doth smile, and she 

doth weep,- 
Like a youthful hermitess, 
Beauteous in a wilderness, 
Who, praying always, prays in 

sleep. 
And, if she move unquietly, 
Perchance 'tis but the blocd so 

free, 
Comes back and tingles in her 

feet. 
No doubt, she hath a vision 

sweet. 
What if her guardian spirit 

'twere, 
What if she knew her mother 

near? 
But this she knows, in joys and 

woes, 
That saints will aid if men will 

call: 
For the blue sky bends over all ! 



PART THE SECOND. 

Each matin bell, the Baron 

saith, 
Knells us back to a world of 

death. 
These words Sir Leoline first said, 
When he rose and found his lady 

dead : 
These words Sir Leoline will say, 
Many a morn to his dying day. 
And hence the custom and law 

began, 
That still at dawn the sacristan 
Who duly pulls the heavy bell, 
Five and forty beads must tell 



CHRISTABEL. 



125 



Between each stroke — a warning 

knell, 
Which not a soul can choose but 

hear 
^rom Bratha Head to Wynder- 

mere. 

Saith Bracy the bard, So let it 

knell ! 
And let the drowsy sacristan 
Still count as slowly as he can ! 
There is no lack of such, I ween 
As well fill up the space between. 
In Langdale Pike and Witch's 

Lair, 
And Dungeon-ghyll so foully 

rent, 
With ropes of rock and bells of 

air 
Three sinful sextons' ghosts are 

pent, 
Who all give back, one after 

t'other, 
The death-note to their living 

brother ; 
And oft too, by the kneJl of- 
fended. 
Just as their one ! two ! three ! 

is ended, 
The devil mocks the doleful tale 
With a merry peal from Borrow- 

dale. 

The air is still ! through mist 

and cloud 
That merry peal comes ringing 

loud ; 
And Geraldine shakes off her 

dread, 
And rises lightly from the bed ; 
Puts • on her silken vestments 

white, / 

And tricks her hair in lovely 

plight, 
And nothing doubting of her 

spell 
Awakens the lady Christabel. 



' Sleep you, sweet lady Christa- 
bel? 
I trust that you have rested well.' 

And Christabel awoke and spied 

The same who lay down by her 
side — 

O rather say, the same whom she 

Raised up beneath the old oak 
tree ! 

Nay. fairer yet! and yet more 
fair ! 

For she belike hath drunken deep 

Of all the blessedness of sleep ! 

And while she spake, her looks, 
her air 

Such gentle thankfulness declare, 

That (so it seemed) her girded 
vests 

Grew tight beneath her heaving 
breasts. 

' Sure I have sinned ! ' said Chris- 
tabel, 

' Now Heaven be praised if all be 
well ! ' 

And in low faltering tones, yet 
sweet, 

Did she the lofty lady greet 

With such perplexity of mind 

As dreams too lively leave be- 
hind. 

So quickly she rose, and quickly 
arrayed 

Her maiden limbs, and having 
prayed 

That He, who on the cross did 
groan, 

Might wash away her sins un- 
known, 

She forthwith led fair Geraldine 

To meet her sire, Sir Leoline. 

The lovely maid and the lady tall 
Are pacing both into the hall, 
And pacing on through page and 

groom 
Enter the Baron's presence room. 



f26 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



The Baron rose, and while he 

prest 
Flis gentle daughter to his breast, 
With cheerful wonder in his eyes 
The lady Geraldine espies, 
And gave such welcome to the 

same, 

beseem so bright a 



aS 



might 
dame ! 



he heard the lady's 
her father's 



But when 

tale, 
And when she told 

name, 
Why waxed Sir Leoline so pale, 
Murmuring o'er the name again, 
Lord Roland de Vaux of Tryer- 

madrie ? 

Alas ! they had been friends in 
youth ; 

Bat whispering tongues can poi- 
son truth ; 

And constancy lives in realms 
above ; 

And life is thorny ; and youth is 
vain ; 

A nd to be wroth wi£h one we love, 

Doth work like madness in the 
brain. 

And thus it chanced, as I divine, 

With Roland and Sir Leoline. 

Each spake words of high dis- 
dain 

And insult to his heart's best 
brother : 

They parted — ne'er to meet 
again ! 

But never either found another 

To free the hollow heart from 
paining — 

They stood aloof, the scars re- 
maining, 

Like cliffs which had been rent 
asunder ; 

A dreary sea now flows between, 



But neither heat, nor frost, nor 

thunder, 
Shall wholly do away, I ween, 
The marks of that which once 

hath been. 
Sir Leoline, a moment's space, 
Stood gazing on the damsel's 

face ; 
And the youthful Lord of Tryer- 

maine 
Came back upon his heart 

again. 

O then the Baron forgot his age, 
His noble heart swelled high 

with rage ; 
He swore by the wounds in- 

Jesu's side, 
He would proclaim it far and 

wide 
With trump and solemn her- 
aldry, 
That they, who thus had 

wronged the dame, 
Were base as spotted infamy ! 
' And if they dare deny the same, 
My herald shall appoint a week, 
And let the recreant traitors 

seek 
My tourney court — that there 

and then 
I may dislodge their reptile 
souls [men ! 

From the bodies of and forms ol 
He spake: his eye in lightning 

rolls ! 
For the lady was ruthlessly 

seized ; and he kenned 
In the beautiful lady the child 

of his friend ! 
And now the tears were on his 

face, 
And fondly in his arms he took 
Fair Geraldine, who met the 

embrace, 
Prolonging it with joyous look. 



CHRISTABEL. 



127 



Which when she viewed, a vis- 
ion fell 

Upon the soul of Christabel, 

The vision of fear, the touch and 
pain ! 

She shrunk and shuddered, and 
saw again 

(Ah, woe is me ! Was it for 
thee, 

Thou gentle maid ! such sights 
to see ?) 

Again she saw that bosom old, 
Again she felt that bosom cold, 
And drew in her breath with a 

hissing sound : 
Whereat the Knight turned 

wildly round, 
And nothing saw, but his own 

sweet maid 
With eyes upraised, as one that 

prayed. 

The touch, the sight, had passed 

away, 
And in its stead that vision 

blest, 
Which comforted her after-rest, 
While in the lady's arms she lay, 
Had put a rapture in her breast, 
And on her lips and o'er her 

eyes, 
Spread smiles like light ! 

With new surprise, 
1 What ails then my beloved 

child?' 
The Baron said — His daughter 

mild 
Made answer, ' All will yet be 

well ! ' 
I ween she had no power to tell 
Aught else : so ( mighty was the 

spell. 
Yet he, who saw this Geraldine. 
Had deemed her sure a thing 

divine, 



Such sorro w with such grace sh« 
blended, 

As if she feared she had offended 

Sweet Christabel, that gentle 
maid ! 

And with such lowly tones she 
prayed, 

She might be sent without de- 
lay 

Home to her father's mansion. 
< Nay ! 

Nay, by my soul !' said Leoline. 

' Ho ! Bracy the bard, the charge 
be thine ! 

Go thou, with music sweet and 
loud, 

And take two steeds with trap- 
pings proud, 

And take the youth whom thou 
lov'st best, 

To bear thy harp, and learn thy 
song, 

And clothe you both, in solemn 
vest, 

And oyer the mountains haste 
along, 

Lest wandering folk, that are 
abroad, 

Detain you on the valley road. 

And when he hath crossed the 
Irthing flood, 

My merry bard ! he hastes, he 
hastes 

Up Knorren Moor, through Hale- 
garth Wood, 

And reaches soon that caetle 
good 

Which stands and threatens 
Scotland's wastes. 

Bard Bracy ! bard Bracy ! your 

horses are fleet, 
You must ride up the hall, your 

music so sweet, 
More loud than your horses 

echoing feat ! 



And loud and loud to Lord 
Roland call, 

Thy daughter is safe in Langdale 
hall ! 

Thy beautiful daughter is safe 
and free — 

Sir Leoline greets thee thus 
through me. 

He bids thee come without de- 
lay, 

With all thy numerous array, 

And take thy lovely daughter 
home : 

And he will meet thee on the 
way 

With all his numerous array 

White with their panting pal- 
freys' foam, 

And, by my honor ! I will say, 

Th % I repent me of the day, 

When I spake words of fierce 
disdain 

To Ronald de Vaux of Tryer- 
maine ! — 

— For since that evil hour hath 
flown, 

Many a summer's sun have 
shone ; 

Yet ne'er found I a friend again 

Like Roland de Vaux of Tryer- 



The lady fell, and clasped his 
knees, 

Her face upraised, her eyes o'er- 
flowing ; 

And Bracy replied with faulter- 
ing voice, 

His gracious hail on all bestow- 
ing :— 

Thy words, thy sire of Christ- 
abel, 

Are sweeter than my harp can 
tell, 

Yet might I gain a boon of thee, 



This day my journey should not 

be ; 
So strange a dream hath come tc 

me: 
That I vowed with music loud 
To clear yon wood from thing 

unblest, 
Warned by a vision in my rest ! 
For in my sleep I saw that dove, 
That gentle bird whom thou 

dost love, 
And call'st by thy own daugh- 
ter's name — 
Sir Leoline ! I saw the same 
Fluttering, and uttering fearful 

moan, 
Among the green herbs in the 

forest alone. 
Which when I saw and when I 

heard, 
I wondered what might ail the 

bird : 
For nothing near it could I see, 
Save the grass and the green 

herbs underneath the old 

tree. 



And in my dream, methought, I 

went 
To search out what might there 

be found : 
And what the sweet bird's 

trouble meant, 
That thus lay fluttering on the 

ground. 
I went and peered, and could 

descry 
No cause for her distressful cry ; 
But yet for her dear lady's sake 
I stooped, methought, the dove 

to take, 
When lo ! I saw a bright green 

snake 
Coiled around its wings and 

neck. 



CHRIS TAB EL. 



129 



Green as the herbs on which it 

couched, 
Close by the dove its head it 

crouched ; 
And with the dove it heaves and 

stirs, 
Swelling its neck as she swelled 

hers ! 
I awoke ; it was the midnight 

hour, 
The clock was echoing in the 

tower ; 
But though my slumber was 

gone by, 
This dream it would not pass 

away — 
It seems to live upon my eye ! 
And thence I vowed this self- 
same day, 
With music strong and saintly 

song 
To wander through the forest 

bare 
Less aught unholy loiter there. 

Thus Bracy said; the Baron, 
the while, 

Half- listening heard him with a 
smile ; 

Then turned to Lady Geraldine, 

His eyes made up of wonder and 
love ; 

And said in courtly accents fine, 

Sweet maid, Lord Roland's beau- 
teous dove, 

With arms more strong than harp 
or song, 

Thy sire ? and I will crush the 
snake ! 

He kissed her forehead as he 
spake, 1 

And Geraldine in maiden wise, 

Casting down her large bright 
eyes, 

With blushing cheek and cour- 
tesy fine 

9 



She turned her from Sir Leoline ; 

Softly gathering up her train, 

That o'er her right arm fell 
again ; 

And folded her arms across her 
chest, 

And couched her head upon her 
breast, 

And looked askance at Christa- 
bel— 

Jesu, Maria, shield her well ! 

A snake's small eye blinks dull 

and shy, 
And the lady's eyes they shrunk 

in her head, 
Each shrunk up to a serpent's 

eye, 
And with somewhat of malice, 

and more of dread 
At Christabel she looked ask- 
ance ! — 
One moment — and the sight was 

fled! 
But Christabel in dizzy trance, 
Stumbli'i-fir on the unsteady 

ground — 
Shuddered aloud with a hissing 

sound ; 
And Geraldine again turned 

round, [lief, 

And like a thing, that sought re- 
Full of wonder and full of grief, 
She rolled her large bright eyes 

divine 
Wildly on Sir Leoline. 

The maid , alas ! her thoughts are 

gone, 
Shetaothing sees — no sight but 

one ! 
The maid, devoid of guile and 

sin, 
I know not now, in fearful wise 
So deeply had she drunken in 
That look, those shrunken ser- 
pent eyes, 



13° 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



That all her features were re- 
signed 
To this sole image in her mind : 
And passively did imitate 
That look of dull and treacher- 
ous hate, 
And thus she stood, in dizzy- 
trance, 
Still picturing that look askance. 
With forced unconscious sym- 
pathy 
Full before her father's view — 
As far as such a look could be, 
In eyes so innocent and blue ! 
And when the trance was o'er, 

the maid 
Paused awhile and inly prayed, 
Then falling at her father's feet, 
4 By my mother's soul do I en- 
treat, 
That thou this woman send 

away ! ' 
She said ; and more she could 

not say, 
For what she knew she could 

not tell, 
O'er-mastered by the mighty 
spell. 

Why is thy cheek so wan and 

wild, 
Sir Leoline ? Thy only child 
Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy 

pride, 
So fair, so innocent, so mild ; 
The same, for whom thy lady 

died ! 
O by the pangs of her dead 

mother 
Think thou no evil of thy child ! 
For her, and thee, and for no 

other, 
She prayed the moment ere she 

died : 
Prayed that the babe for whom 

she died, 



Might prove her dear lord's joy 

and pride ! 
That prayer her deadly pangs 
beguiled, 

Sir Leoline ! 
And wouldst thou wrong thy 
only child, 

Her child and thine ? 
Within the Baron's heart and 

brain 
If thoughts, like these, had any 

share, 
They only swelled his rage and 

pain, 
And did but work confusion. 

there. 
His heart was cleft with pain 

and rage 3 
His cheeks they quivered, hia 

eyes were wild, 
Dishonored thus in his old age \ 
Dishonored by his only child, 
And all his hospitality 
To th' insulted daughter of his 

friend, 
By more than woman's jealousy, 
Brought thus to a disgraceful 

end — 
He rolled his eye with stern re- 
gard 
Upon the gentle minstrel bard, 
And said in tones abrupt, aus- 
tere — [here ? 
Why, Bracy ! dost thou loiter 
I bade thee hence ! The bard 

obeyed ; 
And turning from his own sweet 

maid, 
The aged knight, Sir Leoline, 
Led forth the lady Geraldine 1 



THE CONCLUSION TO PART THE 
SECOND. 

A little child, a limber elf, 
Singing, dancing to itself, 



CHRIS TAB EL. 



131 



A fairy thing with red round 
cheeks 

That always finds and never 
seeks, 

Makes such a vision to the sight 

As fills a father's eyes with light; 

And pleasures flow in so thick 
and fast 

Upon his heart, that he at last 

Must needs express his love's 
excess 

With words of unmeant bitter- 
ness. 

Perhaps 'tis pretty to force to- 
gether 

Thoughts so unlike each other ; 



To mutter and mock a broken 

charm, 
To dally with wrong that does 

no harm. 
Perhaps 'tis tender too and 

pretty [in 

At each wild word to feel with* 
A sweet recoil of love and pity. 
And what if in a world of sin 
(O sorrow and shame should this 

be true !) 
Such giddiness of heart and 

brain 
Comes seldom save from rage 

and pain, 
So talks as it's most used to do. 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 



I. POEMS OCCASIONED BY POLITICAL EVENTS, OR FEELINGS 
CONNECTED WITH THEM. 

When I have borne in memory what has tamed 

Great nations, how ennobling thoughts depart 

When men change swords for ledgers, and desert 

The student's bower for gold, some fears unnamed 

I had, my country ! Am I to be blamed t 

But, when I think of Thee, and what thou art, 

Verily, in the bottom of my heart, 

Of thosa uniilial fears I am ashamed. 

But dearly must we prize thee ; we who find 

In thee a bulwark of the cause of men ; 

And I by my affection was beguiled. 

What wonder if a poet, now and then, 

Among the many movements of his mind, 

Felt for thee as a Lover or a Child.— Words worth. 



ODE TO THE DEPARTING YEAR * 



'IOV, ioi),(i) io KO.KO.. 

'Yn' av ixe Seivb? 6p#o^a»>Teia? novo? 
2Tpo/3ei, rapd<T(Tu)v <J>po<.p-i'ois e^Tjjuioi?. 
* * * * 

To fxeWov Jjffet. Kai <xv p.* ev ra^ei napiou 
Ayav y' aki)Q6it.a.VTiv oiKTeipas epets. — jEschyl. Agam., 1225. 



ARGUMENT. 



The Ode commences with an address to the Divine Providence, that regulatee into 
one vast harmony all the events of time, however calamitous some of Miem may ap- 
pear to mortals. The second Strophe calls on men to suspend theii private joys and 
sorrows, and devote them for a while to the cause of human nature in general. The 
first Epode speaks of the Empress of Russia, who died of an apoplexy on the 17th of 
November, 17% ; having just concluded a subsidiary treaty with the Kings combined 
against France. The first and second Antistrophe describe' the Image of the Depart- 
ing Year, &c, as in a vision. The second Epode prophesies, in anguish of spirit, the 
downfall of this country. 

I. 

Spirit who sweepest the wild harp of Time I 

It is most hard, with an untroubled ear 

Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear ! 
Yet, mine eye fixed on Heaven's unchanging clime, 



* This Ode was composed on the 24th, 25th, and 26th days of December, 1796: and 
vras first published on the last day of that year. 
(132) 



SIB YLLINE LEA FES. 133 

Long had I listened free from mortal fear, 
With inward stillness and a bowed mind ; 
When lo ! its folds far waving on the wind, 
I saw the train of the departing Year ! 
Starting from my silent sadness 
Then with no unholy madness 
Ere yet the entered cloud foreclosed my sight, 
I raised the impetuous song, and solemnized his fligkt 

II. 

Hither, from the recent tomb, 

From the prison's direr gloom, 
From distemper's midnight anguish ; 
And thence, where poverty doth waste and languish! 
Or where, his two bright torches blending, 

Love illumes manhood's maze ; 
Or where o'er cradled infants bending 
Hope has fixed her wishful gaze ; 

Hither in perplexed dance, 
Ye Woes ! ye young-eyed Joys ! advance 1 

By Time's wild harp, and by the hand 
Whose indefatigable sweep 
Raises its fateful strings from sleep, 
I bid you haste, a mixed tumultuous band 1 
From every private bower, 

And each domestic hearth, 
Haste for one solemn hour ; 
And with a loud and yet a louder voice, 
O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth, 

Weep and rejoice ! 
Still echoes the dread name that o'er the earth 
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of Hell : 

And now advance in saintly jubilee 
Tustice and Truth ! They too have heard thy spell, 
They too obey thy name, divinest Liberty ! 

I marked Ambition in his war-array ! 

I heard the mailed Monarch's troublous cry — 
1 Ah ! wherefore does the Northern Conqueress stay! 
Groans not her chariot on its onward way ? ' 
Fly, mailed monarch, fly ! 
Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace, 
No more on murder's lurid face 



134 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye! 

Manes of the unnumbered slain ! 

Ye that gasped on Warsaw's plain ! 
Ye that erst at Ismail's tower, 
When human ruin choked the streams, 

Fell in conquest's glutted hour, 
Mid women's shrieks and infants' screams ! 
Spirits of the uncofflned slain, 

Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, 
Oft, at night, in misty train, 

Rush around her narrow dwelling ! 
The exterminating fiend is fled ! — 

(Foul her life and dark her doom) 
Mighty armies of the dead 

Dance, like death-fires, round her tomb ! 
Then with prophetic song relate, 
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate ! 

IV. 

Departing Year ! 'twas on no earthly shore 

My soul beheld thy vision ! Where alone, 

Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, 
Aye Memory sits : thy robe inscribed with gore, 
With many an unimaginable groan 

Thou storied'st thy sad hours ! Silence ensued, 

Deep silence o'er the ethereal multitude, 
Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with glories shone 
Then his eye wild ardors glancing, 
From the choired gods advancing, 
The Spirit of the Earth made reverence meet, 
Ard stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat. 



Throughout the blissful throng, 
Hushed were harp and song : 
Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven 
(The mystic Words of Heaven), 
Permissive signal make : 
The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread its wings and spake 1 
1 Thou in stormy blackness throning 
Love and uncreated Light, 
By the Earth's unsolaced groaning, 

Seize thy terrors, Arm of might! 
By peace with proffered insult scared, 
Masked hate and envying scorn ! 
By years of havoc yet unborn I 



SIB YLLINE IE A Va~. 135 

And hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared ! 
But chief by Afric's wrongs, 

Strange, horrible, and foul ! 
By what deep guilt belongs 
To the deaf Synod, " full of gifts and lies!" 
By wealth's insensate laugh ! by torture's howl ! 
Avenger, rise ! 
Forever shall the thankless Island scowl, 
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow ? 
Speak ! from thy storm-black Heaven, O speak aloud I 

And on the darkling foe 
Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud ! 

O dart the flash ! O rise and deal the blow ! 
The Past to thee, to thee the Future cries ! 

Hark, how wide Nature joins her groans below t 
Rise, God of Nature ! rise.' 

VI. 

The voice had ceased, the vision fled ; 
Yet still I gasped and reeled with dread. 
And ever, when the dream of night 

Renews the phantom to my sight, 
Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs ; 

My ears throb hot ; my eye-balls start j 
My brain with horrid tumult swims ; 
Wild is the tempest of my heart ; 
And my thick and struggling breath 
Imitates the toil of death ! 
No stranger agony confounds 

The soldier on the war-field spread, 
When all foredone with toil and wounds, 

Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead! 
(The strife is o'er, the daylight fled, 

And the night-wind clamors hoarse ! 
See ! the starting wretch's head 

Lies pillowed on a brother's corse !) 

VII. 

Not yet enslaved, not wholly vile, 
O Albion \\--0 my mother Isle ! 
Thy valleys, fair as Eden's bowers, 
Glitter green with sunny showers ; 
Thy grassy uplands' gentle swells 

Echo to the bleat of flocks 
(Those grassy hills, those glittering dells 

Proudly ramparted with rocks) ; 



I3& COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And Ocean mid his uproar wild 
Speaks safety to his island child. 
Hence for many a fearless age 

lias social Quiet loved thy shore ; 
Nor ever proud invaders rage 
Or sacked thy towers, or stained thy fields with gore. 

VIII. 

Abandoned of Heaven! mad avarice thy guide, 

At cowardly distance, yet kindling with pride — 

Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast stood, 

And joined the wild yelling of famine and blood ! 

The nations curse thee. They with eager wondering 

Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream ! 

Strange-eyed Destruction ! who with many a dream 
Of central fires through neither seas upthundering 

Soothes her fierce solitude ; yet as she lies 
By livid fount, or red volcanic stream, 

If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes, 

O Albion ! thy predestined ruins rise, 
The fiend-hag on her perilous couch doth leap, 
Muttering distempered triumph in her charmed sleep.' 

IX. 

Away, my soul, away ! 
In vain, in vain the birds of warning sing — 
And hark ! I hear the famished bird of prey, 
Flap their lank pennons on the groaning wind I 
Away, my soul, away ! 
I, unpartaking of the evil thing, 
With daily prayer and daily toil 
Soliciting for food my scanty soil, 
Have wailed my country with a loud Lament; 
Now I recentre my immortal mind 

In the deep sabbath of meek self-content ; 
Cleansed from the vaporous passions that bedim 
God's Image, sister of the Seraphim. 



FRANCE. AN ODE. 

i. 

Ye Clouds ! that far above me float and pause, 
Whose pathless march no mortal may control! 
Ye Ocean- Waves ! that, wheresoe'er ye roll, 

Yield homage only to eternal laws! 



SIB YLLINE LEA VES. 1 3 7 

Ye Woods ! that listen to the night birds singing, 
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined, 
Save when your own imperious branches swinging, 
Have made a solemn music of the wind ! 

Where, like a man beloved of God, 
Through glooms which never woodman trod, 

How oft, pursuing fancies holy, 
My moonlight way o'er .flowering weeds I wound, 

Inspired, beyond the guess of folly, 
By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound ! 

ye loud Waves ! and O ye Forests high ! & 
And O ye Clouds that far above me soared ! 

Thou rising Sun, thou blue rejoicing Sky ! 
Ye, everything that is and will be free ! 
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be, 
With what deep worship I have still adored 
The spirit of divinest Liberty. 

II. 

When France in wrath her giant-limbs upreared, 

And with that oath, which smote air, earth, and sea, 

Stamped with her strong foot and said she would be free, 
Bear witness for me, how I hoped and feared ! 
With what a joy my lofty gratulation 

Unawed I sang, amid a slavish band : 
And when to whelm the disenchanted nation, 

Like fiends embattled by a wizard's wand, 
The Monarchs marched in evil day, 
And Britain joined the dire array ; 

Though dear her shores and circling ocean, 
Though many friendships, many youthful loves, 

Had swol'n the patriot emotion, 
And flung a magic light o'er all her hills and groves; 
Yet still my voice, unaltered, sang defeat, 

To all that braved the tyrant-quelling lance, 
And shame too long delayed and vain retreat ! . 
For ne'er, O Liberty ! with partial aim 

1 dimmed thy light or damped thy holy flame ; 
But blessed the paeans of delivered France, 

And hung, iny head and wept at Britain's name. 

in. 
'And what,' I said, ' though Blasphemy's loud scream 

With that sweet music of deliverance strove ! 

Though all the fierce and drunken passions wove 
A dance more wild than e'er was maniac's dream ! 



I3& COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Ye storms, that round the dawning east assembled, 
The Sun was rising, though ye hid his light I ■ 

And when, to soothe my soul, that hoped and trembled, 
The dissonance ceased, and all seemed calm and bright ; 

When France her front deep-scarr'd and gory 

Concealed with clustering wreaths of glory ; 
When, insupportably advancing, 

Her arm made mockery of the -warrior's tramp ; 
While timid looks of fury glancing, 

Domestic treason, crushed beneath her fatal stamp, 
Writhed, like a wounded dragon in his gore ; 

Then I reproached my fears that would not flee ; 
; And soon,' I said, ' shall Wisdom teach her lore 
In the low huts of them that toil and groan I 
And, conquering by her happiness alone, 

Shall France compel the nations to be free, 
Till Love and Joy look round, and call the Earth their own. 1 

IV. 

Forgive me, Freedom ! O forgive those dreams ! 

I hear thy voice, I hear thy loud lament, 

From Bleak Helvetia's icy cavern sent — 
I hear thy groans upon her blood-stained streams ! 

Heroes, that for your peaceful country perished, 
And ye that, fleeing, spot your mountain-snows 

With bleeding wounds ; forgive me, that I cherished 
One thought that ever blessed your cruel foes! 

To scatter rage, and traitorous guilt, 

Where Peace her jealous home had built; 
A patriot-race to disinherit 
Of all that made their stormy wilds so dear ; 

And with inexpiable spirit 
To taint the bloodless freedom of the mountaineer— 
O France, that rnockest Heaven, adulterous, blind, 

And patriot only in pernicious toils, 
Are these thy boasts, Champion of humankind ? 

To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway, 
Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey ; 
To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils 

From freemen torn ; to tempt and to betray ? 

v. 

The Sensual and the Dark rebel in vain, 
Slaves by their own compulsion ! In mad game 
They burst their manacles and wear the name 

Of Freedom, graven on a heavier chain I 



SIB YLLlNE LEA VES. 1 3§ 

O Liberty ! with profitless endeavor 
Have I pursued thee, many a weary hour ; 

But thou nor swell'st the victor's strain, nor ever 
Didst breathe thy soul in forms of human power, 
Alike from all, howe'er they praise thee 
(Nor prayer, nor boastful name delays thee), 

Alike from Priestcraft's harpy minions, 
And factious Blasphemy's obscener slaves, 
Thou speedest on thy subtle pinions, 
The guide of homeless winds, and playmate of the waves ! 
And there I felt thee ! — on that sea-cliff's verge, 

Whose pines, scarce travelled by the breeze above, 
Had made one murmur with the distant surge ! 
Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare, 
And shot my being through earth, sea, and air, 
Possessing all things with intensest love, 
O Liberty ! my spirit felt thee there. 
February, 1797. 



FEARS m SOLITUDE. 

WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798, DURING THE ALARM OP AN INVASION, 
■ 

A green and silent spot, amid the hills, 

A small and silent dell ! O'er stiller place 

No singing sky-lark ever poised himself. 

The hills are heathy, save that swelling slope, 

Which hath a gay and gorgeous covering on, 

All golden with the never-bloomless furze, 

Which now blooms most profusely ; but the dell, 

Bached by the mist, is fresh and delicate 

As vernal \corn-field, or the unripe, flax, 

When, through its half-transparent stalks, at eve, 

The level sunshine glimmers with green light. 

Oh ! 'tis a quiet spirit-healing nook ! 

Which all, methinks, would love ; but chiefly he, 

The humble man, who, in his youthful years, 

Knew just so much of folly, as had made 

His early manhood more securely wise ! 

Here he might lie on fern or withered heath, 

While from the singing-lark (that sings unseen 

The minstrelsy that solitude loves best), 



i4© COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And from the sun, and from the breezy air, 
Sweet influences trembled o'er his frame ; 
And he, with many feelings, many thoughts, 
Made up a meditative joy, and found 
Religious meanings in the forms of nature ! 
And so, his senses gradually wrapt 
In a half sleep, he dreams of better worlds, 
And dreaming hears thee still, singing-lark; 
That singest like an angel in the clouds ! 

My God ! it is a melancholy thing 
For such a man, who would full fain preserve 
His soul in calmness, yet perforce must feel 
For all his human brethren — O my God ! 
It weighs upon the heart, that he must think 
What uproar and what strife may now be stirring 
This way or that way o'er these silent hills — 
Invasion, and the thunder and the shout, 
And all the crash of onset , fear and rage, 
And undetermined conflict — even now, 
Even now, perchance, and in his native isle : 
Carnage and groans beneath this blessed sun ! 
We have offended, oh ! my countrymen ! 
We have offended very grievously, 
And been most tyrannous. From east to west 
A groan of accusation pierces Heaven ! 
The wretched plead against us ; multitudes 
Countless and vehement, the sons of God, 
Our brethren ! Like a cloud that travels on, 
Steamed up from Cairo's swamps of pestilence, 
Even so, my countrymen ! have we gone forth 
And borne to distant tribes slavery and pangs, 
And, deadlier far, our vices, whose deep taint 
With slow perdition murders the whole man, 
His body and his soul 1 Meanwhile, at home, 
All individual dignity and power 
Engulfed in courts, committees, institutions, 
Associations and societies, 

A vain, speech-mouthing, speech-reporting guild, 
One benefit-club for mutual flattery, 
We have drunk up, demure as at a grace, 
Pollutions from the brimming cup of wealth ; 
Contemptuous of all honorable rule, 
Yet bartering freedom and the poor man's life 
For gold, as at a market ! The sweet words 
Of Christian promise, words that even yet 



Might stem destruction, were they wisely preached, 

Are muttered o'er by men, whose tones proclaim 

How flat and wearisome they feel their trade : 

Rank scoffers some, but most too indolent 

To deem them falsehoods or to know their truth. 

Oh ! blasphemous ! the book of life is made 

A superstitious instrument, on which 

We gabble o'er the oaths we mean to break ; 

For all must swear — all and in every place, 

College and wharf, council and justice court; 

All, all must swear, the briber and the bribed, 

Merchant and lawyer, senator and priest, 

The rich, the poor, the old man and the young; 

All, all make up one scheme of perjury, 

That faith doth reel ; the very name of God 

Sounds like a juggler's charm ; and, bold with joy, 

Forth from his dark and lonely hiding-place, 

(Portentous sight!) the owlet Atheism, 

Sailing on obscene wings athwart the noon, 

Drops his blue-fringed lids, and holds them close, 

And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven, 

Cries out, ' Where is it ? ' 

Thankless too for peace 
(Peace long preserved by fleets and perilous seas) 
Secure from actual warfare, we have loved 
To swell the war-whoop, passionate for war ! 
Alas ! for ages ignorant of all 
Its ghastlier workings (famine or blue plague, 
Battle, or siege, or flight through wintry-snows), 
We, this whole people, have been clamorous 
For war and bloodshed ; animating sports, 
The which we pay for as a thing to talk of, 
Spectators and not combatants I No guess 
Anticipative of a wrong unfelt, 
No'speculAtion or contingency,, 
However d'irn and vague, too vague and dim 
To yield a justifying cause ; and forth 
(Stuffed out with big preamble, holy names, 
And adjurations of the God in Heaven,) 
We send our mandates for the certain death 
Of thousands and ten thousands ! Boys and girls, 
And women, that would groan to see a child 
Pull off an insect's leg, all read of war, 
The best amusement for our morning-meal ! 
The poor wretch, who has learnt his only prayers 



1 4 2 COLE RID GE 'S POEMS. 

From curses, who knows scarcely words enough 

To ask a blessing from his Heavenly Father, 

Becomes a fluent phraseman, absolute 

And technical in victories and defeats, 

And all our dainty terms for fratricide ; 

Terms which we trundle smoothly o'er our tongues 

Like mere abstractions, empty sounds to which 

We join no feeling and attach no form ! 

As if the soldier died without a wound ; 

As if the fibres of this godlike frame 

Were gored without a pang ; as if the wretch, 

Who fell in battle, doing bloody deeds, 

Passed off to Heaven, translated and not killed ; 

As though he had no wife to pine for him, 

No God to judge him ! Therefore, evil days 

Are coming on us, O my countrymen ! 

And what if all-avenging Providence, 

Strong and retributive, should make us know 

The meaning of our words, force us to feel 

The desolation and the agony 

Of our fierce doings ! 

Spare us yet awhile, 
Father and God ! O ! spare us yet awhile ! 
Oh ! let not English women drag their flight 
Fainting beneath the burthen of their babes, 
Of the sweet infants, that but yesterday 
Laughed at the breast ! Sons, brothers, husbands, all 
Who ever gazed with fondness on the forms 
Which grew up with you round the same fire-side, 
And all who ever heard the sabbath-bells 
Without the infidel's scorn, make yourselves pure ! 
Stand forth ! be men ! repel an impious foe, 
Impious and false, a light yet cruel race, 
Who laugh away all virtue, mingling mirth 
With deeds of murder ; and still promising 
Freedom, themselves too sensual to be free, 
Poison life's amities, and cheat the heart 
Of faith and quiet hope, and all that soothes 
. And all that lifts the spirit ! Stand we forth ; 
Render them back upon the insulted ocean, 
And let them toss as idly on its waves 
As the viie sea-weed, which some mountain-blast 
Swept from our shores ! And oh ! may we return 
Not with a drunken triumph, but with fear, 
Repenting of the wrongs with which we stung 
So fierce a foe to frenzy I 



SIBYLLINE LEAVES. . 1 43 

I have told, 
Britons ! my brethren ! I have told 
Most bitter truth, but without bitterness. 
Nor deem my zeal or factious or mis- timed ; 
For never can true courage dwell with them, 
Who, playing tricks with conscience, dare not look 
At their own vices. We have been too long 
Dupes of a deep delusion ! Some, belike, 
Groaning with restless enmity, expect 
All change from change of constituted power ; 
As if a Government had been a robe, 
On which our vice and wretchedness were tagged 
Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe 
Pulled off at pleasure. Fondly these attach 
A radical causation to a few 
Poor drudges of chastising Providence, 
Who borrow all their hues and qualities 
From our own folly and rank wickedness, 
Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others, meanwhile, 
Dote with a mad idolatry ; and all 
Who will not fall before their images, 
And yield them worship, they are enemies 
Even of their country ! 

Such have I been deemed — 
But, O dear Britain ! O my Mother Isle ! 
Needs must thou prove a name most dear and holy 
To me a son, a brother, and a friend, 
A husband, and a father ! who revere 
All bonds of natural love, and find them all 
Within the limits of thy rocky shores. 

native Britain ! O my Mother Isle ! 

How sliouldst thou prove aught else but dear and holy 

To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills, 

Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, 

Have drunk in all my intellectual life, 

All sWeet|Sensations, all ennobling thoughts, 

All adora|tion of the God in nature, 

All lovely and all honorable things, 

Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel 

The joy and greatness of its future being ? 

There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul 

Unborrowed from my country. O divine 

And beauteous island ! thou hast been my sole 

And most magnificent temple, in the which 

1 walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, 
Loving the God that made me ! 



1 44 COLERIDGE J S POEMS. 

May my fears, 
My filial fears, be vain ! and may the vaunts 
And menace of the vengeful enemy 
Pass like the gust, that roared and died away 
In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard, 
In this low dell, bowed not the delicate grass. 

But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad 
The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze : 
The light has left the summit of the hill, 
Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, 
Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, 
Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot I 
On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, 
Homeward I wind my way ; and lo ! recalled 
From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me, 
I find myself upon the brow, and pause 
Startled ! And after lonely sojourning 
In such a quiet and surrounded nook, 
This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, 
Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty 
Of that huge amphitheatre of rich 
And elmy fields, seems like society — 
Conversing with the mind, and giving it 
A livelier impulse and a dance of thought ! 
And now, beloved Stowey ! I behold 
Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge elms 
Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend ) 
And close behind them, hidden from my view, 
Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe 
And my babe's mother dwell in peace ! With light 
And quickened footsteps thitherward I tend, 
Remembering thee, O green and silent dell ! 
And grateful, that by nature's quietness 
And solitary musings, all my heart 
Is softened, and made worthy to indulge 
Love, and the thoughts that yearn for humankind. 

Nether Stowey, 
April 28th, 1788- 



' SIBYLLINE LEAVES. 145 

FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER. 

A WAR ECLOGUE. 

The Scene a desolate Tract in la Vendee. Famine is discovered 
lying on the ground ; to her enter Fire and Slaughter. 

Fam. Sisters ! sisters ! who sent you here? 

Slau. [to Fire.] I will whisper it in her ear. 

Fire. No ! no ! no ! 

Spirits hear what spirits tell : 
'Twill make a holiday in Hell. 

No ! no ! no ! 
Myself, I named him once below, 
And all the souls, that damned be, 
Leaped up at once in anarchy, 
Clapped their hands and danced for glee. 
They no longer heeded me, 
Bu f laughed to hear Hell's burning rafters 
Unwillingly re-echo laughters ! 

No ! no ! no ! 
Spirits hear what spirits tell : 
'Twill make a holiday in Hell ! 

Fam. Whisper it, sister ! so and so ! 
In a dark hint, soft and slow. 

Slau. Letters four do form his name — 
And who sent you ? 

Both. The same ! the same ! 

Slau. He came by stealth, and unlocked my den, 
And I have drunk the blood since then 
Of thrice three hundred thousand men. 

Both. Who bade you do it ? 

Slau. The same ! the same ! 

Letters four do form his name. 
He letlme loose, and cried Halloo ! 
To 'hiiii alone the praise is due. 

Fam. Thanks, sister, thanks ! the men have bled f 
Their wives and their children faint for bread. 
I stood in a swampy field of battle ; 
With bones and skulls I made a rattle, 
To frighten the wolf and carrion-crow 
And the homeless dog — but they would not go. 
So off I flew : for how could I bear 
To see them gorge their dainty fare ? 
I heard a groan and a peevish squall, 
And through the chink of a cottage-wall — 
Can you guess what I saw there ? 



146 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 

Both. Whisper it, sister ! in our ear. 

Fam. A baby beat its dying mother : 
I had starved the one and was starving the other ! 

Both. Who bade you do't ? 

Fam. The same ! the same I 

Letters four do form his name. 
He let me loose, and cried Halloo ! 
To him alone the praise is due. 

Fire. Sisters ! I from Ireland came ! 
Hedge and corn-fields all on flame, 
I triumphed o'er the setting sun ! 
And all the while the work was done, 
On as I strode with my huge strides, 
I flung back my head and I held my sides, 
It was so rare a piece of fun 
To see the sweltered cattle run 
With uncouth gallop through the night, 
Scared by the red and noisy light ! 
By the light of his own blazfng cot 
Was many a naked rebel shot : 
The house-stream met the flame and hissed, 
While crash ! fell in the roof, I wist, 
On some of those old bed-rid nurses, 
That deal in discontent and curses. 

Both. Who bade you do't? 

Fire. The same ! the same ! 

Letters four do form his name. 
He let me loose, and cried Halloo ! 
To him alone the praise is due. 

All. He let us loose, and cried Halloo ! 
How shall we yield him honor due ? 

Fam. Wisdom comes with lack of food. 
I'll gnaw, I'll gnaw the multitude, 
Till the cup of rage o'erbrim : 
They shall seize him and his brood — 

JSlau. They shall tear him limb from limb! 

Fire. O thankless beldames and untrue 1 
And is this all that you can do 
For him, who did so much for you ? 
Ninety months he, by my troth ! 
Hath richly catered for you both : 
And in an hour would you repay 
An eight years' work ? — Away ! away ! 
I alone am faithful ! I 
Cling to him everlastingly. 

171)6 



IT. LOVE POEMS. 



Quas humilis tenero stylus olira effudit in ?cv«, 

Perlegis hie lacrymas, et quod pharetratue acuta 

Ille puer pureo fecit mini cuspide vulnus. 

Omnia paulatim consumit longior aetas, 

Vivendoque simul morimur, rapimurque manendo. 

Ipse mihi coliatus enim non ille videbor : 

Frons alia est, moresque alii, nova mentis imago, 

Voxque aliud sonat— 

Pectore nunc gelido calidos miseremur amantes, 

Jamque arsisse pudet. Veteres tranquilla tumultus 

Mens horret, relegensque alium putat ista locutum.— Petrarch. 



LOVE. 

All thoughts, all passions, all 

delights, 
Whatever stirs this mortal 

shame, 
All are but ministers of Love, 
And feed his sacred flame. 

Oft in my waking dreams do I 
Live o'er again that happy hour, 
When midway on the mount I 
lay, 
Beside the ruined tower. 

The moonshine, stealing o'er the 

scene, 
Had blended with the lights of 

eve ; 
And she was there, my hope, my 

My own deat Genevieve ! 

She leaned against the armed 

man, 
The statue of the armed knight ; 
She stood and listened to my 

lay, 
Amid the lingering light. 

Few sorrows hath she of her own, 
My hope! my joy I my Gene- 
vieve ! 



She loves me best, whene'er 1 
sing 
The songs that make her 
grieve. 

I played a soft and doleful air, 
I sang an old and moving story — ■ 
An old rude song, that suited 
well 
That ruin wild and hoary. 

She listened with a flitting blush „ 
With downcast eyes and modest 

grace ; 
For well she knew, I could not 

choose 
But gaze upon her face. 

I told her of the Knight that 

wore 
Upon his shield a burning brand; 
And that for ten long years he 

wooed 
The Lady of the Land. 

I told her how he pined : and 

ah! 
The deep, the low, the pleading 

tone 
With which I sang another's 

love, 
Interpreted my own. 



14$ 



COLERIDGE* S POEMS. 



% he listened with a flitting blush, 
With downcast eyes, and modest 

grace ; 
And she forgave me, that I gazed 
Too fondly on her face ! 

Bat when I told the cruel scorn 
That crazed that bold and lovely 

Knight, 
And that he crossed the moun- 
tain-woods, 
Nor rested day nor night \ 

That sometimes from the savage 
den, 

And sometimes from the dark- 
some shade, 

And sometimes starting up at 
once 
In green and sunny glade,— 

There came and looked him in 

the face 
An angel beautiful and bright : 
And that he knew it was a Fiend, 
This miserable Knight ! 

And that, unknowing what he 

did, 
He leaped amid a murderous 

band, 
And saved from outrage worse 

than death 
The Lady of the Land ; — 

And how she wept, and clasped 

his knees ; 
And how she tended him in 

vain — 
And ever strove to expiate 

The scorn that crazed his 

brain ; — 

And that she nursed him in a 

cave ; 
And how his madness went 

away, 
When. on the yellow forest-leaves 
A dying man he lay ; — ' 



His dying words — but when 1 

reached 
That tenderest strain of all the 

ditty, 
My faltering voice and pausing 

harp 
Disturbed her soul with pity ! 

All impulses of soul and sense 
Had thrilled my guileless Gene- 
vieve ; 
The music and the doleful tale, 
The rich and balmy eve ; 

And hopes, and fears that kin- 
dle hope, 
An undistinguishable throng, 
And gentle wishes long subdued, 
Subdued and cherished long! 

She wept with pity and delight, 
She blushed with love, and vir- 
gin shame ; 
And like the murmur of a 
dream, 
I heard her breathe my name. 

Her bosom heaved — she stepped 

aside, 
As conscious of my look she 

stept — 
Then suddenly, with timorous 

eye, 
She fled to me and wept. 

She half inclosed me with her 

arms, 
She pressed me with a meek 

embrace ; 
And bending back her head, 

looked up, 
And gazed upon my face. 

'Twas partly love, and partly 

fear, 
And partly 'twas a bashful art, 
That I might rather feel, than 
see, 
The swelling of her heart. 



LOVE POEMS. 



i49 



I calmed her fears, and she was 

calm, 
And told her love with virgin 

pride ; 
And so I won my Genevieve, 
My bright and beauteous 

Bride. 



THE BALLAD OF THE 
• DARK LADIE. 

A FRAGMENT. 

Beneath yon birch with silver 

bark. 
And boughs so pendulous and 

fair, 
The brook falls scattered down 

the rock : 
And all is mossy there ! 

And there upon the moss she 

sits, 
The Dark Ladie in silent pain ; 
The heavy tear is in her eye, 
And drops and swells again. 

Three times she sends her little 

page 
Up the castled mountain's 

breast, 
If he might find the Knight that 

wear^ 
The Griffini for his crest . 

The sun was sloping down the 

sky, 
And she had lingered there all 

day, 
Counting moments, dreaming 

fears — 
O wherefore can he stay ? 

She hears a rustling o'er the 

brook, 
She sees far off a swinging 

bough I 



' 'Tis He ! 'Tis my betrothed 
Knight ! 
Lord Falkland, it is Thou ! ' 

She springs, she clasps him 

round the neck, 
She sobs a thousand hopes and 

fears, 
Her kisses glowing on his cheeks 
She quenches with her tears. 



' My friends with rude ungentle 

words 
They scoff and bid me fly to 

thee! 

giv3 me shelter in thy breast ! 
O shield and shelter me ! 

1 My Henry, I have given thee 

much, 
I gave what I can ne'er recall, 
I gave my heart, I gave my 
peace, 
O Heaven ! I gave thee ail.' 

The Knight made answer to the 

Maid, 
While to his heart he held her 

hand, 
' Nine castles hath my noble 

sire, 
None statelier in the land. 

' The fairest one shall be my 

love's, 
The fairest castle of the nine ! 
Wait only till the stars peep out 
The fairest shall be thine : 

' Wait only till the hand of eve 
Plath wholly closed yon western 

bars, 
And through the dark we too 

will steal 
Beneath the twinkling stars ! " 



n* 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



'The dark? the dark? No! 

not the dark ? 
The twinkling stars? Hew, 

Henry ? How ? 
O God ! 'twas in the eye of noon 
He pledged his sacred vow ! 

And in the eye of noon, my 
love 
Shall lead me 1 from my mother's 

door, 
Sweet boys and girls all clothed 
in white 
Strewing flowers before : 

' But first the nodding minstrels 

go 
With music meet for lordly 

bowers, 
The children next in snow-white 

vests, 
Strewing buds and flowers ! 

' And then my love and I shall 

pace, 
My jet-black hair in pearly 

braids, 
Between our comely bachelors 
And blushing bridal maids.' 



LEWTI, 

OR THE CIRCASSIAN LOVE- 
CHAUNT. 

At midnight by the stream I 
roved, 

To forget the form I loved. 

Image of Lewti ! from my mind 

Depart ; for Lewti is not kind. 

The moon was high, the moon- 
light gleam 
And the shadow of a star 

Heaved upon Tamaha's stream ; 
But the rock shone brighter 
far, 



The rock half-sheltered from my 

view 
By pendent boughs of tressy 

yew — 
So shines my Lewti's forehead 

fair, 
Gleaming through her sable 

hair. 
Image of Lewti ! from my mind 
Depart ; for Lewti is not kind. 
I saw a cloud of palest hue, 

Onward to the moon it passed ; 
Still brighter and more bright it 

grew, 
With floating colors not a few, 
Till it reached the moon at 

last: 
Then the cloud was wholly 

bright, 
With a rich and amber light ! 
And so with many a hope I seek, 
And with such joy I find my 

Lewti ; 
And even so my pale wan cheek 
Drinks in as deep a flush of 

beauty ! 
Nay ! treacherous image ! leave 

my mind, 
If Lewti never will be kind. 

The little cloud — it floats away, 
Away it goes ; away so soon ? 
Afas 1 it has no power to stay : 
Its hues are dim, its hues are 
gray- 
Away it passes from the moon 1 
How mournfully it seems to fly, 

Ever fading more and more, 
To joyless regions of the sky — 
And now 'tis whiter than 
before ! 
As white as my poor cheek will 
be, 
When, Lewti ! on my couch 1 
lie, 
A dying man for love of thee. 



LOVE POEMS. 



151 



Nay, treacherous image ! leave 

my mind — 
And yet, thou didst not look 

unkind. 

I saw a vapor in the sky, 
Thin, and white, and very 
high : 
I ne'er beheld so thin a cloud : 
Perhaps the breezes that can 

fly, 
Now below and now above, 
Have snatched aloft the lawny 
shroud 
Of Lady fair — that died for 
love. 
For maids, as well as youths, 

have perished 
From fruitless love too fondly 

cherished . 
Kay, treacherous image ! leave 

my mind — 
For Lewti never will be kind. 

Hush ! my heedless feet from 

under 
Slip the crumbling banks for- 
ever : 
Like echoes to a distant thunder, 
They plunge into the gentle 

river. 
The river-swans have heard my 

tread, 
And startle from their reedy bed. 
O beauteous birds ! methiriks ye 

measure 
Your movements to some 

heavenly tune ! 
beauteous birds' 'tis such a 

pleasure 



To see you move beneath trie 
moon, 

I would it were your true de- 
light 

To sleep by day and wake all 
night. 

I know the place where Lewti 

lies, 
When silent night has closed her 

eyes ; 
It is a breezy jasmine-bower, 
The nightingale sings o'er her 

head : 
Voice of the night ! had I the 

power 
That leafy labyrinth to thread, 
And creep, like thee, with sound- 
less tread, 
I then might view her bosom 

white, 
Heaving lovely to my sight, 
As these two swans together 

heave 
On the gently swelling wave. 

Oh ! that she saw me in a dream, 
And dreamt that I had died 
for care ; 
All pale and wasted I would 
seem, 
Yet fair withal, as spirits are I 
I'd die indeed, if I might see 
ller bosom heave, and heave foi 

me ! 
Soothe, gentle image ! soothe 

my mind ! 
To-morrow Lewti may be kind. 
1795. 



152 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



THE PICTURE, 

OR THE LOVER'S RESOLUTION. 

Through weeds, and thorns, and matted underwood* 
I force my way ; now climb, and now descend 
O'er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild foot 
Crushing the purple whorts ; while, oft unseen, 
Hurrying along the drifted forest-leaves, 
The scared snake rustles. Onward still I toil 
I know not, ask not whither ! A new joy, 
Lovely a*s light, sudden as summer gust, 
And gladsome as the first-born of the spring, 
Beckons me on, or follows from behind, 
Playmate, or guide ! The master-passion quelled. 
I feel that 1 am free. With dun-red bark 
The fir-trees, and the unfrequent slendei oak, 
Forth from this tangle wild of bush and brake 
Soar up, and from a melancholy vault 
High o'er me, murmuring like a distant sea. 

Here Wisdom might resort, and here Remorse ; 

Here too the love-lorn man, who, sick in soul, 

And of this busy human heart aweary, 

Worships the spirit of unconscious life 

In tree or wild-flower. — Gentle lunatic ! 

If so he might not wholly cease to be, 

He would far rather not be that, he is; 

But would be something, that he knows not of, 

In winds or waters, or among the rocks ! 

But hence, fond wretch ! breathe not contagion here I 
No myrtle- walks are these : these are no groves 
Where Love dare loiter ! If in sullen mood 
He should stray hither, the low stumps shall gore 
His dainty feet, the briar and the thorn 
Makes his plumes haggard. Like a wounded bird 
Easily caught, ensnares him, O ye Nymphs, 
le Oreads chaste, ye dusky Dryades ! 
And you, ye earth- winds ! you that make at morn, 
The dew-drops quiver on the spiders' webs ! 
You, O ye wingless Airs ! that creep between 
The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze, 
Within whose scanty shade, at summer noon, 
The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bed — 
Ye, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, 



Now pant and murmur with her feeding iamb. 

Chase, chase him, all ye Fays, and elfin Gnomes ! 

With prickles sharper than his darts bemock 

His little trodship, making him perforce 

Creep through a thorn bush on yon hedgehog's back. 

This is my hour of triumph ! I can now 
With my own fancies play the merry fool, 
And laugh away worse folly, being free. 
Here will I seat myself, beside this old, 
Hollow, and weedy oak, which ivy-twine 
Clothes as with net-work : here will I couch my liinbs, 
Close by this river, in this silent shade, 
As safe and sacred from the step of man 
As an invisible world — unheard, unseen, 
And listening only to the pebbly brook 
That murmurs with a dead, yet tinkling sound ; 
Or to the bees, that in the neighboring trunk 
Make honey-hoards. The breeze that visits me 
Was never Love's accomplice, never raised 
The tendril ringlets from the maiden's brow, 
And the blue, delicate veins above her cheek ; 
Ne'er played the wanton — never half-disclosed 
The maiden's snowy bosom, scattering thence 
Eye-poisons for some love-distempered youth, 
Who ne'er henceforth may see an aspen-grove 
Shiver in sunshine, but his feeble heart 
Shall flow away like a dissolving thing. 

Sweet breeze ! thou only, if I guess aright, 
Liftest the feathers of the robin's breast, 
That swells its little breast, so full of song 
Sinking above me, on the mountain-ash. 
And thcju too, desert stream ! no pool of thine, 
Though clear as lake, in latest summer-eve, 
Did e'er reflect the stately virgin's robe, 
The face, the form divine, the downcast look 
Contemplative ! Behold ! her open palm 
Presses her cheek and brow ! her elbow rests 
On the bare branch of half up-rooted tree, 
That leans towards its mirror! Who erewhile 
Had from her countenance turned, or looked by stealth 
(For fear is true love's cruel nurse), he now, 
With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, 
Worships the watery idol,* dreaming hopes 
Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain. 



1 5 4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



E'en as that phantom world on which he gazed, 

But not unheeded gazed : for see, ah ! see, 

The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks 

The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, 

Lychnis, and willow-herb, and foxglove bells : 

And suddenly, as one that toys with time, 

Scatters them on the pool ! Then all the charm 

Is broken — all that phantom- world so fair 

Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, 

And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile, 

Poor youth, who scarcely dar'st lift up thine eyes, 

The stream will. soon renew its smoothness, soon 

The visions will return ! And lo ! he stays : 

And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms 

Come trembling back, unite, and now once more 

The pool becomes a mirror ; and behold 

Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there, 

And there the half-uprooted tree — but where, 

O where the virgin's snowy arm, that lea.ned 

On its bare branch ? He turns, and she is gone ! 

Homeward she steals through many a woodland maze 

Which he shall seek in vain. Ill-fated youth ! 

Go, day by day, and waste thy manly prime 

In mad love-yearning by the vacant brook, 

Till sickly thoughts bewitch thine eyes, and thou 

Behold'st her shadow still abiding there, 

The Naiad of the mirror ! 

Not to thee, 

wild and desert stream ! belongs this tale : 
Gloomy and dark art thou — the crowded firs 
Spire from thy shores, and stretch across thy bed, 
Making thee doleful as a cavern-well : 

Save when the shy king-fishers build their nest 

On thy steep banks, no loves hast thou, wild stream! 

This be my chosen haunt — emancipate 
From passion's dreams, a freeman, and alone, 

1 rise and trace its devious course. O lead, 
Lead me to deeper shades and lonelier glooms. 
Lo ! stealing through the canopy of firs, 
How fair the sunshine spots that mossy rock, 
Isle of the river, whose disparted waves 
Dart off asunder with an angry sound, 

How soon to re-unite ! And see ! they meet, 
Each in the other lost and found : and see 
Placeless, as spirits, one soft- water sun 



LOVE POEMS. 155 



Throbbing within them, heart at once and eye ! 

With its soft neighborhood of filmy clouds, 

The stains and shadings of forgotten tears, 

Dimness o'erswum with lustre ! Such the hour 

Of deep enjoyment, following love's brief feuds ; 

And hark, the noise of a near waterfall ! 

I pass forth into light — I find myself 

Beneath a weeping birch (most beautiful 

Of forest- trees, the lady of the woods), 

Hard by the brink of a tall weedy rock 

That overbrows the cataract. How bursts 

The landscape on my sight ! Two crescent hills 

Fold in behind each other, and so make 

A circular vale, and land-locked, as might seem, 

With brook and bridge, and gray stone cottages, 

Half hid by rocks and fruit-trees. At my feet, 

The whortle-berries are bedewed with spray, 

Dashed upwards by the furious waterfall. 

How solemnly the pendent ivy-mass 

Swings in its winnow ; all the air is calm. 

The smoke from cottage chimneys, tinged with light, 

Rises in columns ; from this house alone, 

Close by the waterfall, the column slants, 

And feels its ceaseless breeze. But what is this ? 

That cottage, with its slanting chimney-smoke, 

And close beside its porch a sleeping child, 

His dear head pillowed on a sleeping dog — 

One arm between its forelegs, and the hand 

Holds loosely its small hanciful of wild flowers, 

Unfilletted, and of unequal lengths. 

A curious picture, with a master's haste 

Sketched on a strip of pinky-silver skin, 

»Peeled from the birchen bark ! Divinest maid ! 

Yon barfk her canvas, and those purple berries 

Her pencil ! See, the juice is scarcely dried 

On the fine skin ! She has been newly here ; 

And lo ! yon patch of heath has been her couch— 

The pressure still remains ! O blessed couch ! 

For this mayst thou flower early, and the sun, 

Slanting at eve, rest bright, and linger long 

Upon thy purple bells ! O Isabel ! 

Daughter of genius ! stateliest of our maids ! 

More beautiful than whom Alcseus wooed, 

The Lesbian woman of immortal song ! 

O child of genius ! stately, beautiful, 

And full of love to all, save only me, 



156 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And not ungentle e'en to me ! My heart, 

W hy beats it thus ? Through yonder coppice- wood 

Needs must the pathway turn, that leads straightway 

On to her father's house. She is alone ! 

The night draws on — such ways are hard to hit — 

And fit it is I should restore this sketch, 

Dropt unawares no doubt. Why should I yearn 

To keep the relique ? 'twill but idly feed 

The passion that consumes me. Let me haste ! 

The picture in my hand which she has left ; 

She cannot blame me that I followed her : 

And I may be her guide the long wood through. 



THE NIGHT-SCENE r 



A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT. 



Sandoval. You loved the daughter of Don Manrique ? 

Earl Henry. Loved ? 

Sandoval. Did you not say you wooed her? 

Earl Henry. Once I loved 

Her whom I dared not woo ! 

Sandoval. And wooed, perchance, 

One whom you loved not ! 

Earl Henry. Oh ! f were most base, 

Not loving Oropeza. True, I wooed her, 
Hoping to heal a deeper wound : but she 
Met my advances with impassioned pride, 
That kindled love with love. And when her sire, 
Who in his dream of hope already grasped 
The golden circlet in his hand, rejected 
My suit with insult, and in memory 
Of ancient feuds poured curses on my head, 
Her blessings overtook and baffled them ! 
But thou art stern, and with unkindly countenance 
Art inly reasoning whilst thou listenest to me. 

Sandoval. Anxiously, Henry ! reasoning anxiously^ 
But Oropeza — 

Earl Henry. Blessings gather round her ! 
Within this wood there winds a secret passage, 
Beneath the walls, which opens out at length 
Into the gloomiest covert of the garden,— 



LOVE POEMS. 157 



The night ere my departure to the army, 

She, nothing trembling, led me through that gloom, 

And to that covert by a silent stream, 

Which > with one star reflected near its marge, 

Was the sole object visible around me. 

No leaflet stirred ; the air was almost sultry ; 

So deep, so dark, so close, the umbrage o'er us ! 

No leaflet stirred ; — yet pleasure hung upon 

The gloom and stillness of the balmy night-air. 

A little further on an arbor stood, 

Fragrant with flowering trees — I well remember 

What an uncertain glimmer in the darkness 

Their snow-white blossoms made — thither she led me, 

To that sweet bower ! Then Oropeza trembled — 

I heard her heart beat — if 'twere not my own. 

Sandoval. A rude and scaring note, my friend ! 

Earl Henry. ' Oh ! no ! 

I have small memory of aught but pleasure. 
The inquietudes of fear, like lesser streams, 
Still flowing, still were lost in those of love : 
So love grew mightier from the fear, and Nature, 
Fleeing from pain, sheltered herself in joy. 
The stars above our heads were dim and steady, 
Like eyes suffused with rapture. — Life was in us : 
We were all life, each atom of our frames 
A living soul — I vowed to die for her : 
With the faint voice of one who, having spoken, 
Relapses into blessedness, I vowed it: 
That solemn vow, a whisper scarcely heard, 
A murmur breathed against a lady's ear. 
Oh ! there is joy above the name of pleasure, 
Deep self-possession, an intense repose. 

Sandoval [with a sarcastic smile}. No other than as eastern 
sages paint 
The God, who floats upon a lotos leaf, 
Dreams for a thousand ages ; then awaking, 
Creates a world, and smiling at the bubble, 
Relapses into bliss. 

Earl Henry. Ah ! was that bliss 

Feared as an alien, and too vast for man ? 
For suddenly, impatient of its silence, 
Did Oropeza, starting, grasp my forehead. 
I caught her arms ; the veins were swelling on them. 
Through the dark bower she sent a hollow voice ;— 
.'Oh ! what if all betray me ? what if thou ? ' 
X swore, and with an inward thought that seemed 



1 5 8 COLE RID GE'S POEMS. 

The purpose and the substance of my being, 
I swore to her, that were she red with guilt, 
I would exchange my unblenched state with hers. — 
Friend ! by that winding passage, to that bower 
I now will go — all objects there will teach me 
Unwavering love, and singleness of heart. 
Go, Sandoval ! I am prepared to meet her — 
Say nothing of me — I myself will seek her — 
Nay, leave me, friend ! I cannot bear the torment 
And keen inquiry of that scanning eye.— 

[Earl Henry retires into the wood. 
Sandoval [alone]. O Henry! always striv'st thou to be great 
By thine own act — yet art thou never great 
But by the inspiration of great passion. 
The whirl-blast comes, the desert-sands rise up 
And shape themselves : from earth to heaven they stand, 
As though they were the pillars of a temple, 
Built by Omnipotence in its own honor ! 
But the blast pauses, and their shaping spirit 
Ls fled : the mighty columns were but sand, 
And lazy snakes tread o'er the level ruins I 



TO AN UNFORTUNATE WOMAN AT THE THEATRE 

Maiden, that with sullen brow 

Sitt'st behind those virgins gay, 
Like a scorched and mildewed bough 

Leafless 'mid the blooms of May ! 

Him who lured thee and forsook, 

Oft 1 watched with angry gaze, 
Fearful saw his pleading look, 

Anxious heard his fervid phrase. 

Soft the glances of the youth, 

Soft his speech, and soft his sigh ; 

But no sound like simple truth, 
But no true love in his eye 

Loathing thy polluted lot, 

Hie thee, Maiden, hie thee hence 
Seek thy weeping Mother's cot, 

With a wiser innocence. 



LOVE POEMS. 159 



Thou hast known deceit and folly, 
Thou hast felt that vice is woe ; 

With a musing melancholy 
Inly armed, go. Maiden ! go. 

Mother sage of self-dominion, 
Firm thy steps, O Melancholy ! 

The strongest plume in wisdom's pinion 
Is the memory of past folly. 

Mute the sky-lark and forlorn, 

While she moults the firstling plumes, 

That had skimmed the tender corn, 
Or the beanfield's odorous blooms. 

Soon with renovated wing 
Shall she dare a loftier flight, 

Upward to the day-star spring, 
And embathe in heavenly light. 



LINES COMPOSED IN A CONCERT-ROOM. 

Nor cold, nor stern, my soul ! yet I detest 

These scented rooms, where to a gaudy throng, 

Heaves the proud harlot her distended breast 
In intricacies of laborious song. 

These feel not Music's genuine power, nor deign 
To melt at Nature's passion-warbled plaint ; 

'But when the long-breathed singer's uptrilled strain 
Burstf in a squall — they gape for wonderment. 

Hark ! the deep buzz of vanity and hate ! 

Scornful, yet envious, with self-torturing sneer 
My lady eyes some maid of humbler state, 

While the pert captain, or the primmer priest, 

Prattles accordant scandal in her ear. 

O give me, from this heartless scene released, 
To hear our old musician, blind and gray, 

(Whom stretching from my nurse's arms I kissed,) 
His Scottish tunes and warlike marches play, 

By moonshine, on the balmy summer-night, 
The while I dance amid the tedded hay 

With merry maids, whose ringlets toss in light. 



1 66 COLERIDGE *S POEMS. 

Or lies the purple evening on the bay 
Of the calm glossy lake, O let me hide 

Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees, 
For round their roots the fisher's boat is tied, 

On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at ease, 
And while the lazy boat sways to and fro, 

Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow, 
That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears. 

But O, dear Anne ! when midnight wind careers, 
And the gust pelting on the out-house shed 

Makes the cock shrilly on the rain-storm crow, 

To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe, 
Ballad of ship- wrecked sailor floating dead, 

Whom his own true-love buried in the sands! 
Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice re-measures 
Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures 

The things of Nature utter ; birds or trees 
Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves, 
Or where the stiff grass mid the heath-plant waves, 

Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze. 



THE KEEPSAKE. 

The tedded hay, the first-fruits of the soil, 

The tedded hay and corn-sheaves in one field, 

Show summer gone, ere come. The foxglove tall 

Sheds its loose purple bells, or in the gust, 

Or when it bends beneath the up-springing lark, 

Or mountain-finch alighting. And the rose 

(In vain the darling of successful love) 

Stands, like some boasted beauty of past years, 

The thorns remaining, and the flowers all gone. 

Nor can I find, amid my lonely walk 

By rivulet, or spring, or wet road-side, 

That blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook, 

Hope's gentle gem, the sweet Forget-me-not ! * 

So will not fade the flowers which Emmeline 

With delicate fingers on the snow-white silk 

Has worked, (the flowers which most she knew I loved.) 

And, more beloved than they, her auburn hair. 



* One of the names (and meriting to be the only one) of the Ah/nsofis Scorpinides 
Palustris, a llower from six to twelve inches high, with blue blossom and bright yel- 
low eye. It has the same name over the whole Empire of Germany ( Pergissmein 
nicht), and, 1 believe, in Denmark and Sweden. 



LOVE POEMS. lO* 



In the cool morning twilight, early waked 
By her full bosom's joyous restlessness, 
Softly she rose, and lightly stole along, 
Down the slope coppice to the woodbine bower, 
Whose rich flowers, swinging in the morning breeze, 
Over their dim fast-moving shadows hung, 
Making a quiet image of disquiet 
In tho smooth, scarcely moving river-pool. 
There, in that bower where first she owned her love, 
And let me kiss mv own warm tear of joy 
From off her glowing cheek, she sate and stretched 
The silk upon the frame, and worked her name 
Between the Moss-Rose and Forget-me-not — 
Her own dear name, with her own auburn hair ! 
That forced to wander till sweet spring return, 
I yet might ne'er forget her smile, her look, 
Her voice, (that even in her mirthful mood 
Has made me wish to steal away and weep,) 
Nor yet the entrancement of that maiden kiss 
With which she promised, that when spring returned 
She would resign one half of that dear name, 
And own thenceforth no other name but mine I 



TO A LADY. 

| WITH FALCONER'S ' SHIPWRECK.' 

Ah ! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams 

In arched groves, the youthful poet's choice; 

Nor while half-listening, mid delicious dreams, 
To harp and song from lady's hand and voice ; 

ftor yet while gazing in sublimer mood 

On cliff, or cataract, in Alpine dell ; 
Nor in dim cave with bladdery sea-weed strewed, 

Framing wild fancies to the ocean's swell ; 

Our sea-bard sang this song ! which still he sings, 
And sings for thee, sweet friend ! Hark, Pity, hark I 

Now mounts, now totters on the tempest's wings, 
Now groans, and shivers, the replunging bark! 
11 



162 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

' Cling to the shrouds ! ' In vain ! The breakers roar — 
Death shrieks ! With two alone of all his clan 

Forlorn the poet paced the Grecian shore, 
No classic roamer, but a ship- wrecked man ! 

Ray then, what muse inspired these genial strains 

And lit his spirit to so bright a flame ? 
The elevating thought of suffered pains, 

Which gentle hearts shall mourn ; but chief, the nam« 

Of gratitude ! remembrances of friend, 
Or absent or no more ! shades of the Past, 

Which Loves makes substance ! Hence to thee I send, 
dear as long as life and memory last ! 

I send with deep regards of heart and head, 

Sweet maid, for friendship formed ! this work to thee? 

And thou, the while thou canst not choose but shed 
A tear for Falconer, wilt remember me. 



TO A YOUNG LADY. 

ON HER RECOVERY FROM A FEVER. 

Why need I say. Louisa dear ! 
How glad I am to see you here, 

A lovely convalescent ; 
Risen from the bed of pain and fear, 

And feverish heat incessant. 

The sunny showers, the dappled sky, 
The little birds that warble high, 

Their vernal loves commencing, 
Will better welcome you than I 

With their sweet influencing. 

Believe me, while in bed you lay, 
Your danger taught us all to pray : 

You made us grow devoute t ! 
Each eye looked up and seemed to say, 

How can we do wiffcnut bet ? 



Besides, what vexed us worse, 
They have no need of such as you 

In the place where you were going : 
This World has angels all too few, 

And Heaven is overflowing ! 



SOMETHING CHILDISH, BUT VERT NATURAL. 

WRITTEN IN GERMANY. 

If I had but two little wings, 
And were a little feathery bird, 
To you I'd fly, my dear ! 
But thoughts like these are idle things, 
And I stay here. 

But in my sleep to you I fly : 

I'm always with you in my sleep ! 
The world is all one's own. 
But then one wakes, and where am I ? 
All, all alone. 

Sleep stays not, though a monarch bids, 
So I love to wake ere break of day : 
t For though my sleep be gone, 

Yet while 'tis dark, one shuts one's lids, 
I And still dreams on. 



HOME-SICK. 

WRITTEN IN GERMANY. 

'Tis sweet to him who all the week 
Through city-crowds must push his war. 

To stroll alone through fields and woods, 
And hallow thus the Sabbath-day. 

And sweet it is, in summer bower, 
Sincere, affectionate, and gay, 

One's own dear children feasting round 
To celebrate one's marriage-day. 



*64 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

But what is all, to his delight, 

Who having long been doomed to roam, 

Throws off the bundle from his back, 
Before the door of his own home ? 

Home-si ekness is a wasting pang ; 

This feel I hourly more and more : 
There's healing only in thy wings, 

Thou Breeze that play'st on Albion's shore X 



ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION. 

Do you ask what the birds say ? The sparrow, the dove, 

The linnet, and thrush, say, ' I love and I love ! ' 

In the winter they're silent — the wind is so strong. 

What it says I don't know, but it sings a loud song. 

But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather, 

And singing, and loving — all come back together. 

But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love, 

The green fields below him, the blue sky above, 

That he sings, and he sings ; and forever sings he — 

'I love my Love, and my Love loves me ! ' 



A CHILD'S EVENING PRAYER. 

Ere on my bed my limbs I lay, 
God grant me grace my prayers to say : 
God ! preserve my mother dear 
In strength and health for many a year ; 
And, O ! preserve my father too, 
And many I pay him reverence due ; 
And may I my best thoughts employ 
To be my parents' hope and joy ; 
And, O ! preserve my. brothers both 
From evil doings and from sloth, 
And may we always love each other, 
Our friends, our father, and our mother, 
And still, O Lord, to me impart 
An innocent and grateful heart, 
That after my last steep I may 
Awake to thy eternal day ! Amen. 



r 



LOVE POEMS. 165 



THE VISIONARY HOPE. 

Sad lot, to have no hope ! Though lowly kneeling 

He fain would frame a prayer within his breast, 

Would fain entreat for some sweet breath of healing, 

That his sick body might have ease and rest ; 

He strove in vain ! the dull sighs from his chest 

Against his will the stifling load revealing, 

Though Nature forced ; though like some captive guest, 

Some royal prisoner at his conqueror's feast, 

An alien's restless mood but half concealing, 

The sternness on his gentle brow confessed, 

Sickness within and miserable feeling : 

Though obscure pangs made curses of his dreams, 

And dreaded sleep, each night repelled in vain, 

Each night was scattered by its own loud screams : 

let never could his heart command, though fain, 

One deep full wish to be no more in pain. 

That Hope, which was his inward bliss and boast, 
Which waned and died, yet ever near him stood, 
Though changed in nature, wander where he would — 
For Love's despair is but Hope's pining ghost ! 
For this one hope he makes his hourly moan, 
He wishes and can wish for this alone ! 
Pierced, as with light from Heaven, before its gleams 
(So the love-stricken visionary deems) 
[Disease would vanish, like a summer shower. 
Whose dews Aing sunshine from the noon-tide bower ! 
Or let it stay ! yet this one Hope should give 
Such strength that he would bless his pains and live. 



THE HAPPY HUSBAND. 

Oft, oft methinks, the while with Thee 
I breathe, as from the heart, thy dear 
And dedicated name, I hear 

A promise and a mystery, 

A pledge of more than passing life, 
Yea, in that very name of Wife ! 

A pulse of love, that ne'er can sleep I 
A feeling that upbraids the heart 
With happiness beyond desert, 

That gladness half requests to weep ! 



66 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Nor bless I not the keener sense 
And unalarming turbulence 

Of transient joys, that ask no sting 
From jealous fears, or coy denying ; 
But born beneath Love's brooding wing, 

And into tenderness soon dying, 

Wheel out their giddy moment, then 
Resign the soul to love again ; — 

A more precipitated vein 

Of notes, that eddy in the flow 

Of smoothest song, they come, they go, 

And leave their sweeter unders train 
Its own sweet self — a love of Thee 
That seems, yet cannot greater be ! 



RECOLLECTIONS OF LOVE. 



How warm this woodland wild Recess ! 

Love surely hath been breathing here; 

And this sweet bed of heath, my dear ! 
Swells up, then sinks with faint caress, 

As if to have you yet more near. 

II. 

Eight springs have flown, since last I lay- 
On sea-ward Quantock's heathy hills, 
Where quiet sounds from hidden rills 

Float here and there, like things astray, 
And high o'erhead the sky-lark shrills. 

in. 

No voice as yet had made the air 
Be music with your name ; yet why 
That asking look ? that yearning sigh ! 

That sense of promise everywhere ? 
Beloved ! flew your spirit by ? 

IV. 

As when a mother doth explore 

The rose-mark on her long-lost child, 
I met, I loved you, maiden mild ! 

As whom I long have loved before — 
So deeply had I been beguiled. 



LOVE POEMS. 167 



V. 

You stood before me like a thought, 
A dream remembered in a dream. 
But when those meek eyes first did seem 

To tell me, Love within you wrought — ■ 
O Greta, dear domestic stream ! 

VI. 

Has not. since then, Love's prompture deep 
Has not Love's whisper evermore 
Been ceaseless, as thy gentle roar? 

Sole voice, when other voices sleep, 
Dear under-song in clamor's hour. 



ON REVISITING THE SEA-SHORE, 

AFTER DONG ABSENCE, UNDER STRONG MEDICAL 
RECOMMENDATION NOT TO BATHE. 

God be with thee, gladsome Ocean ! 

How gladly greet I thee once more ! 
Ships and waves, and ceaseless motion, 

And men rejoicing on thy shore. 

Pissuading spake the mild physician, 
' Those j briny waves for thee are death 1 ' 

But my soul fulfilled her mission, 

And lo ! I breathe untroubled breath ! 

Fashion's pining sons and daughters, 
That seek the crowd they seem to fly, 

Trembling they approach thy waters ; 
And what cares Nature, if they die ? 

Me a thousand hopes and pleasures, 

A thousand recollections bland, 
Thoughts sublime, and stately measures, 

Revisit on thy echoing strand : 

Dreams (the soul herself forsaking), 

Tearful raptures, boyish mirth ; 
Silent adorations, making 

A blessed shadow of this Earth ! 

O ye hopes, that stir within me, 

Health comes with you from above ! 

God is with me, God is in me ! 
I cannot die, if Life be Love. 



III. MEDITATIVE POEMS. 



IN BLANK VERSE. 

Yea, he deserves to find himself deceived, 
Who seeks a Heart in the unthinking Man. 
Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life 
Impi ess their characters on the smooth forehead: 
Naught sinks into the bosom's silent depth. 
Quick sensibility of pain and pleasure 
Moves the light fluids lightly ; but no soul 
Warmeth the inner frame.— Schiller. 



HYMN, 

BEFORE SUN-RISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOTTNI. 

Besides the rivers Arve and Arveiron, which have their sources in the foot of 
Mont Blanc, five conspicuous torrents rush down its sides ; and within a few paces of 
the Glaciers, the Gentiana Major grows in immense numbers with its ' flowers of love- 
liest blue.' 

Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star 
In his steep course ? So long he seems to pause 
On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc ! 
The Arve and Arveiron at thy base 
Rave ceaselessly ; but thou, most awful Form ! 
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, 
How silently ! Around thee and above 
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, 
An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it, 
As with .a wedge ! But when I look again, 
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, 
Thy habitation from eternity ! 

dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon thee, 
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, 

Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer 

1 worshipped the Invisible alone. 

Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, 
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, 
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought, 
Yea, with my iife and life's own. secret joy : 
Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, 
Into the mighty vision passing — there 
As in her natural form, swelled vast to Heaven ! 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 169 

Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise 
Thou owest ! not alone these swelling tears, 
Mute thanks and secret ecstasy ! Awake, 
Voice of sweet song ! Awake, my heart, awake; 
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn. 

Thou first and chief, sole sov T ran of the Vale I 
struggling with the darkness all the night, 
And visited all night by troops of stars, 
Or when they climb the sky or when they sink: 
Companion of the morning-star at dawn, 
Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn 
Co-hera Id : wake, wake, and utter praise ! 
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth ? 
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light ? 
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams? 

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad ! 
Who called you forth from night and utter death, 
From dark and icy caverns called you forth, 
Down those precipitous, black, jagged Rocks, 
Forever shattered and the same forever ? 
Who gave you your invulnerable life, 
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy, 
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ? 
And who commanded (and the silence came), 
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest ? 

Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow 
Adown enormous ravines slope amain — ! 
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice, 
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge ! 
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts ! 
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven 
Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun 
Clothe you with rainbows ? Who, with living flowers 
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ? — 
God ! let the torrents, like a shout of nations, 
Answer ! and let the ice-plains echo, God ! 
God ! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice! 
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds 1 
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow, 
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God ! 

Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal frost I 
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest I 



1 7 o COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm I 
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds ! 
Ye signs and wonders of the element ! 
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise ! 

Thou too, hoar Mount ! with thy sky-pointing peaks. 
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard, 
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene 
Into the depth of clouds that veil thy breast — 
Thou too again, stupendous Mountain ! thou 
That, as I raise my head, awhile bowed low 
In adoration, upward from thy base 
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears, 
Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud, 
To rise before me — Rise. O ever rise, 
Rise like a cloud of incense, from the Earth ! 
Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills, 
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven, 
Great hierarch ! tell thou the silent sky, 
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun, 
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God. 



LINES 

WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM AT ELBINGERODE, IN THE HART2 

FOREST. 

I stood on Brocken's * sovran height, and saw 

Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills, 

A surging scene, and only limited 

By the blue distance. Heavily say way 

Downward I dragged through fir groves evermore, 

Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral forms 

Speckled with sunshine ; and, but seldom heard, 

The sweet bird's song became a hollow sound ; 

And the breeze, murmuring indivisibly, 

Preserved its solemn murmur most distinct 

From many a note of many a waterfall, 

And the brook's chatter ; 'mid whose islet stones 

The dingy kindling with its tinkling bell 

Leaped frolicsome, or old romantic goat 



* The highest mountain in the Hartz, and indeed in North Germany. 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 17 * 



Sat, his white beard slow waving. I moved on 

In low and languid mood : * for I had found 

That outward forms, the loftiest, still receive 

Their finer influence from the Life within ; 

Fair cyphers else : fair, but of import vague 

Or unconcerning, where the heart not finds 

History or prophecy of friend, or child, 

Or gentle maid, our first and early love, 

Or father, or the venerable name 

Of our adored country ! O thou Queen, 

Thou delegated Deity of Earth, 

O dear, dear England ! how my longing eye 

Turned westward, shaping in the steady clouds 

Thy sands and high white cliffs ! 

My native Land ! 
Filled with the thought of thee this heart was proud, 
Yea, mine eye swam with tears : that all the view 
From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills, 
Floated away, like a departing dream, 
Feeble and dim ! Stranger, these impulses 
Blame thou not lightly ; nor will I profane, 
With hasty judgment or injurious doubt, 
That man's sublimer spirit, who can feel 
That God is everywhere ! the God who framed 
Marlkind to be one mighty family, 
Himself our Father, and the World our Home. 



INSCRIPTION 

FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH. 

This Sycamore, oft musical with bees, — 

Such tents the Patriarchs loved ! O long unharmed 

May all its aged boughs o'er-canopy 

The small round basin, which this jutting stone 



When I have gazed 

From some high eminence on goodly vales 
And cots and villages embowered below, 
The thought would rise that all to me was strange 
Amid the scenes so fair, nor one small spot 
Where my tired mind might rest, and call it home. 

Southey's Hymn to the Penates. 



Keeps pure from falling leaves ! Long may the Spring 

Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath, 

Send up cold waters to the traveller 

With soft and even pulse ! Nor ever cease 

Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance, 

Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's page, 

As merry and no taller, dances still, 

Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount. 

Here twilight is and coolness : here is moss, 

A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade. 

Thou may'st toil far and find no second tree. 

Drink, Pilgrim, here ; here rest ! and if thy heart 

Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh 

Thy Spirit, listening to some gentle sound, 

Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees I 



A TOMBLESS EPITAPH. 

'Tis true, Idoloclastes Satyrane ! 

(So call him, for so mingling blame with praise, 

And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends, 

Masking his birth-name, wont to character 

His wild- wood fancy and impetuous zeal,) 

'Tis true that, passonate for ancient truths, 

And honoring with ireligious love the great 

Of elder times, he hated to excess, 

With an unquiet and intolerant scorn, 

The hollow puppets of a hollow age, 

Ever idolatrous, and changing ever 

Its worthless idols ! learning, power, and time 

(Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war 

Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true, 

Whole years of weary days, besieged him close, 

Even to the gates and inlets of his life ! 

But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm, 

And with a natural gladness, he maintained 

The citadel unconquered, and in joy 

Was strong to follow the delightful Muse. 

For not a hidden path, that to the shades 

Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads, 

Lurked undiscovered by him ; not a rill 

There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 173 

But he had traced it upward to its source, 
Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell, 
Knew the gay wild-flowers on its banks, and cullec 
Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone, 
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave, 
The haunt obscure of old Philosophy, 
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls 
Sparkje, as erst they sparkled to the flame 
Of odorous lamps tended by Saint and Sage. 
framed for calmer times and nobler hearts ! 
studious Poet, eloquent for truth ! 
Philosopher ! contemning wealth and death, 
Yet docile, childlike, full of Life and Love I 
Here, rather than on monumental stone, 
This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes, 
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek. 



THIS LIME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON. 

In the jjune of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid a visit to the author's cottage ; 
and on the morning of their arrival, he met with an accident, which disabled him from 
walking during the whole time of their stay. One evening, when they had left him 
for a lew hours, he composed the following lines in the garden-bower. 

Well, they are gone, and here must I remain, 

This lime-tree bower my prison ! I have lost 

Beauties and feelings such as would have been 

Most sweet to my remembrance even when age 

Had dimmed mine eyes to blindness ! They, meanwhile, 

Friends, whom I never more may meet again, 

On springy heath, along the hill-top edge, 

Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance, 

To that still roaring dell, of which I told ; 

The roaring dell, o'er-wooded, narrow, deep, 

And only speckled by the mid-day sun ; 

Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock 

Flings arching like a bridge ;— that branchless ash, 

Unsunned and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves 

Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, 

Fanned by the water-fall ! and there my friends 

Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds,* 



Of long lank weeds.] The asplenium scolopendrium, called in some countries the 
Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue : but Withering gives the Adder's Tougue 
as the trivial name of the ophioglossum only. 




That all at once (a Tnost fantastic sight !) 
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge 
Of the blue clay-stone. 

Now, my friends emerg* 
Beneath the wide, wide Heaven — and view again 
The many-steepled tract magnificent 
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea, 
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up 
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles 
Of purple shadow ! Yes ! they wander on 
In gladness all ; but thou, methinks, most glad, 
My gentle-hearted Charles ! for thou hast pined 
And hungered after Nature, many a year, 
In the great City pent, winning thy way 
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain 
And strange calamity ! Ah ! slowly sink 
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious sun ! 
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb, 
Ye purple heath-flowers ! richlier burn, ye clouds t 
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves ! 
And kindle, thou blue Ocean ! So my Friend 
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood, 
Silent with swimming sense ; yea, gazing round 
On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem 
Less gross than bodiry ; and of such hues 
As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes 
Spirits perceive his presence. 

A delight 
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad 
As I myself were there ! Nor in this bower, 
This little lime-tree bower, have I not marked 
Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze 
Hung the transparent foliage ; and I watched 
Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see 
The shadow of the leaf and stem above 
Dappling its sunshine ! And that walnut-tree 
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay 
Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps 
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass 
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue 
Through the late twilight : and though now the bat 
Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters, 
Yet still the solitary humble-bee 
Sings in the bean-flower ! Henceforth I shall know 
That Nat.ure ne'er deserts the wise and pure ; 



MEDITA TIVE POEMS. 1 7 5 

No plot so narrow, be but Nature there, 
No waste so vacant, but may well employ 
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart 
Awake to Love and Beauty ! and sometimes 
'Tis well to be bereft of promised good, 
That we may lift the Soul, and contemplate 
With lively joy the joys we cannot share. 
My gentle-hearted Charles ! when the last rook 
Beat its straight path along the dusky air 
Homewards, I blest it ! deeming, its black wing 
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) 
Had crossed the mighty orb's dilated glory, 
While thou stood'st gazing ; or when all was still, 
Flew creeking* o'er thy head, and had a charm 
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom 
No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. 



j TO A FRIEND 

WHO HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION OF WRITING NO MORE 

POETRY. 

Dear Charles ! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween 
That Genius plunged thee in that wizard fount 
High Castalie : and (sureties of thy faith) 
That Pity and Simplicity stood by. 
And promised for thee that thou shouldst renounce 
The world's low cares and lying vanities, 
- Steadfast and rooted in the heavenly Muse, 
And washed and sanctified to Poesy. 
Yes — thou wert plunged but with forgetful hand 
Held, as by Thetis erst her warrior son : 
And with those recreant unbaptized heels 
Thou'rt flying from thy bounden minist'ries — 
So sore it seems and burthensome a task 
To weave unwithering flowers ! But take thou heed : 
For thou art vulnerable; wild-eyed boy, 



* Flew creeling.] Some months after I had written this line, it gave me pleasure 
to find that Bartram had observed the same circumstance of the Savanna Crane. 
• When these birds move their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, moderate, and 
regular ; and even when at a considerable distance or high above us, we plainly hear 
the quill feathers ; their shafts and webs upon one another creek as the joints or work- 
lag of a vessel in a tempestuous sea. 



176 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

* — — — 

And I have arrows * mystically dipt, 
Such as may stop thy speed. Is thy Burns dead ? 
And shall he die unwept, and sink to earth 
' Without the meed of one melodious tear ? ' 
Thy Burns, and Nature's own beloved bard, 
Who to the f Illustrious f of his native Land, 
So properly did look for patronage.' 
Ghost of Maecenas ! hide thy blushing face ! 
They snatched him from the sickle and the plough- 
To gauge ale-firkins. 

Oh ! for shame return ! 
On a bleak rock, midway the Aonian mount, 
There stands a lone and melancholy tree, 
Whose aged branches to the midnight blast 
Make solemn music : pluck its darkest bough, 
Ere yet the unwholesome night-dew be exhaled, 
And weeping wreath it round thy Poet's tomb. 
Then in the outskirts, where pollutions grow, 
Pick the rank henbane and the dusky flowers 
Of night-shade, or its red and tempting fruit, 
These with stopped nostril and glove-guarded hand 
Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine, 
The illustrious brow of Scotch Nobility. 



TO WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. 

COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION OF A FOE A! 
ON THE GROWTH OF AN INDIVIDUAL MIND. 

Friend of the wise ! and teacher of the good ! 

Into my heart have I received that lay 

More than historic, that prophetic lay 

Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright) 

Of the foundations and the building up 

Of a human spirit thou hast dared to tell 

What may be told, to the understanding mind 

Revealable ; and what within the mind 

By vital breathings secret as the soul 

Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart 

Thoughts all too deep for words ! — 

* Pi lid. Olymp. ii. i. 150. 

1 Verbatim from Burns' dedication of his poem to the Nobility and Gentry ol th« 
Caledonian Hunt. 



MEDITA TIVE POEMS. 1 7 } 



Theme hard as high, 
Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears 
(The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth), 
Of tides obedient to external force. 
And currents self-determined, as might seem, 
Or by some inner power; of moments awful, 
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad, 
When power streamed from thee, and thy soul received 
The light reflected, as a light bestowed — 
Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth, 
Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought 
Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens, 
Native or outland, lakes and famous hills! 
Or on the lonely high-road, when the stars 
Were rising ; or by secret mountain-streams, 
The guides and the companions of thy way ! 

Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense 
Distending wide, and man beloved as man, 
Where France in all her towns lay vibrating 
Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst 
Of (Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud 
Is visible, or shadow on the main, 
For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, 
Amid the tremor of a realm aglow, 
Amid a mighty nation jubilant, 
When from the general heart of humankind 
Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity ! 

-Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down, 

So summoned homeward, thenceforth calm and sur« 

From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute self, 

With light unwaning on her eyes, to look 

Far on — herself a glory to behold, 

The Angel of the vision ! Then (last strain) 

Of Duty, chosen laws controlling choice, 

Action and joy !— And Orphic song indeed. 

A song divine of high and passionate thoughts 

To their own music chanted ! 

O great Bard ! 
Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air, 
With steadfast eye 1 viewed thee in the choir 
Of ever-enduring men. The truly great 
Have all one age, and from one visible space 
Shed influence ! They, both in power and act, 
Aie permanent, and Time is not with them, 
Save as it worketh for them, they in it, 

12 



175 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Nor less a- sacred roll, than those of old, 
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame 
Among the archives of mankind, thy work 
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth, 
Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay, 
Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes ! 
Ah ! as I listened, with a heart forlorn, 
The pulses of my being beat anew : 
And even as life returns upon the drowned, 
Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of pains- 
Keen pangs of Love, awakening as a babe 
Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart ; 
And fears self-willed, that shunned the eye of hope ; 
And hope that scarce would know itself from fear \ 
Sense of past youth, and manhood come in vain, 
And genius given, and knowledge won in vain; 
And all which I had culled in wood-walks wild, 
And all which patient toil had reared, and all, 
Commune with thee had opened out — but flowers 
Strewed on my corse, and borne upon my bier, 
In the same coffin, for the self-same grave ! 

That way no more ! and ill beseems it me, 
Who came a wel comer in herald's guise. 
Singing of glory, and futurity, 
To wander back on such uphealthful road, 
Plucking the poisons of self-harm ! And ill 
Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths 
Strewed before thy advancing ! 

Nor do thou, 
Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour 
Of thy communion with my nobler mind 
By pity or grief, already felt too long ! 
Nor let my words import more blame than needs. 
The tumult rose and ceased : for peace is nigh 
Where wisdom's voice has found a listening heart. 
Amid the howl of more than wintry storms, 
The halcyon hears the voice of vernal hours 
Already on the wing. 

Eve following eve, 
Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home 
Is sweetest ! moments for their own sake hailed, 
And more desired, more precious for thy song, 
In silence listening, like a devout child, 
My soul lay passive, by thy various strain 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 179 



Driven as in surges now beneath the stars, 
With momentary stars of my own birth, 
Fair constellated foam,* still darting off 
Into the darkness ; now a tranquil sea, 
Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon. 

And when — O Friend ! my comforter and guide ! 
Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength !-— 
Thy long-sustained Song finally closed, 
And thy deep voice had ceased — yet thou thyself 
Wert still before my eyes, and round us both 
That happy vision of beloved faces — 
Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close 
I sate, my being blended in one thought 
(Thought was it ? or aspiration ? or resolve ?) 
Absorbed, yet hanging still upon the sound — 
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer* 



THE NIGHTINGALE; 

A CONVERSATION POEM. APRIL, 1798. 

No cloud, no relique of the sunken day 
Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip 
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. 
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge \ 
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, 
But hear no murmuring : it flows silently, 
O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still, 
A balmy night ! and though the stars be dim, 
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers 
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find 
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars. 
And hark ! the Nightingale begins its song, 
Most musical, most melancholy ' bird ! f 

* ' A beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary intervals coursed by the side of 
the vessel with a roar, and little stars of flame danced and sparkled and went out 
in it : and every now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam darted 
off from the vessel's side, each with its own small constellation, over the sea, and 
scoured out of sight like a Tartar troop over a wilderness.'— The Friend, p. 220. 

t ' Most musical, most melancholy .'] This passage in Milton possesses an excellence 
far superior to that of mere description. It is spoken in the character of the melan- 
choly man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The author makes this remark, 
to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton. 



l8o COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

A melancholy bird ! Oh ! idle thought ! 

In Nature there is nothing melancholy. 

But some night-wandering man whose heart was pierced 

With the remembrance of a grievous wrong, 

Or slow distemper, or neglected love, 

(And so, poor wretch ! filled all things with himself, 

And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale 

Of his own sorrow), he, and such as he, 

First named these notes a melancholy strain. 

And many, a poet echoes the conceit ; 

Poet who hath been building up the rhyme 

When he had better far have stretched his limbs 

Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, 

By sun or moon-light, to the influxes 

Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements 

Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song 

And of his fame forgetful ! so his fame 

Should share in Nature's immortality, 

A venerable thing ! and so his song 

Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself 

Be loved like Nature ! But 'twill not be so ; 

And youths and maidens most poetical, 

Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring 

In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still 

Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs 

O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains. 

My Friend, and thou, our Sister ! we have learnt 
A different lore : we may not thus profane 
Nature's sweet voices, aiways full of love 
And joyance ! 'Tis the merry Nightingale 
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates 
With fast thick warble his delicious notes, 
As he were fearful that an April night 
Would be too short for him to utter forth 
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul 
Of all its music ! 

And I know a grove 
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, 
Which the great lord inhabits not ; and so 
This grove is wild with tangling underwood, 
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass, 
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths. 
But never elsewhere in one place I knew 
So many nightingales ; and far and near, 
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove, 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. i8j 

They answer and provoke each other's song, 

With skirmish and capricious passagings, 

And murmurs musical'and swift jug jug, 

And one low piping sound more sweet than all — 

Stirring the air with such a harmony, 

That should you close your eyes, you might almost 

Forget it was not day ! On moon -lit bushes, 

Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, 

You may perchance behold them on the twigs, 

Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and full, 

Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade 

Lights up her love-torch. 

A most gentle Maid, 
Who dwelleth in her hospitable home 
Hard by the castle, and at latest eve 
(Even like a Lady vowed and dedicate 
To something more than Nature in the grove) 
Glides through the pathways ; she knows all their notes, 
That gentle Maid ! and oft a moment's space, 
What time the moon was lost behind a cloud, 
Hath heard a pause of silence ; till the moon 
Emerging, hath awakened earth and sky 
With one sensation, and these wakeful birds 
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy, 
As if some sudden gale had swept at once 
A hundred airy harps ! And she hath watched 
Many a nightingale perched giddily 
On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze, 
And to that motion tune his wanton song 
Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head. 

Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow eve, 
And you, my friends ! farewell, a short farewell ! 
We have been loitering long and pleasantly, 
And now for our dear homes. — That strain again ! 
Full fain it would delay me ! My dear babe, 
Who, capable of no articulate sound, 
Mars all things with his imitative lisp, 
How he. would place his hand beside his ear, 
His little hand, the small forefinger up, 
And bid us listen ! And I deem it wise 
To make him Nature's play-mate. He knows well 
The evening-star • and once, when he awoke 
In most distressful mood (some inward pain 
Had made up that strange thing, an infant's dream), 
I hurried with him to our orchard plot, 



IS* COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at once, 

Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, 

While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped tears, 

Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam ! Well ! — 

It is a father's tale : But if that Heaven 

Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up 

Familiar with these songs, that with the night 

He may associate joy.— Once more, farewell, 

Sweet Nightingale ! Once more, my friends ! farewell. 



FROST AT MIDNIGHT. 

The frost performs its secret ministry, 
TJnhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry 
Came loud — and hark, again ! loud as before. 
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, 
Have left me to that solitude, which suits 
Abstruser musings : save that at my side 
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. 
'Tis calm indeed ! so calm, that it disturbs 
And vexes meditation with its strange 
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood, 
This populous village ! Sea, and hill, and wood, 
With all the numberless goings on of life, 
Inaudible as dreams ! the thin blue flame 
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not ; 
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate, 
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing. 
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature 
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live, 
Making it a companionable form, 
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit 
By its own moods interprets, everywhere 
Echo or mirror seeking of itself, 
And makes a toy of Thought. 

But O ! how oft, 
How oft, at school, with most believing mind, 
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, 
To watch that fluttering stranger ! and as oft, 
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt 
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower, 
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 183 



So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me 
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear 
Most like articulate sounds of things to come ! 
So gazed I, till the soothing things I dreamt 
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams ! 
And so I brooded all the following morn, 
Awed by the stern preceptor's face, mine eye 
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book : 
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched 
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up, 
For still I hoped to see the stranger's face, 
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved, 
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike ! 

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, 
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm, 
Fill up the interspersed vacancies 
And momentary pauses of the thought ! 
My babe so beautiful ! it thrills my heart 
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee, 
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore 
And in far other scenes ! For I was reared 
In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim, 
And saw naught lovely but the sky and stars. 
But thoii, my babe ! shalt wander like a breeze 
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags 
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds, 
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores 
And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear 
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible 
Of that eternal language, which thy God 
Utters, who from eternity doth teach 
Himself in all, and all things in himself. 
Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould 
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask. 

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, 
Whether the summer clothe the general earth 
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing 
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch 
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch 
Smokes in the sun-thaw ; whether the eve-drops fall 
Heard only in the trances of the blast, 
Or if the secret ministry of frost 
Shall hang them up in silent icicles, 
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon. 



THE THREE GRAVES. 

A FRAGMENT OF A SEXTON'S TALE. 

[Tite Author has published the following lmmble fragment, encouraged by the de- 
oisive recommendation of more than one of our most celebrated living Poets. The 
language was intended to be dramatic ; that is-suited to the narrator ; and the metre 
corresponds to the homeliness of the diction. It is, therefore, presented as the frag- 
ment, not of a Poem, but of a common Ballad-tale. Whether this is sufficient to justify 
the adoption of such a style, in any metrical composition not professedly ludicrous, 
the Author is himself in some doubt. At all events, it is not presented as poetry, and 
it is in no way connected with the Author's judgment concerning poetic diction. Its 
merits, if any, are exclusively psychological. The story which must be supposed to 
have been narrated in the first and second parts is as follows :— 

Edward, a young farmer, meets at the house of Ellen her bosom friend Mary, and 
commences an acquaintance, which ends in a mutual attachment. With her consent, 
and by the advice of their common friend Ellen, he announces his hopes and inten- 
tions to Mary's mother, a widow-woman bordering on her fortieth year, and from con- 
stant health, the possession of a competent property, and from having had no other 
children but Mary and another daughter (the father died in their infancy), retaining 
for the greater part her personal attractions and comeliness of appearance ; but a 
woman of low education and violent temper. The answer which she at once returned 
to Edward's application was remarkable— 4 Well, Edward ! you are a handsome young 
fellow, and you shall have my daughter.' From this time all their wooing passed under 
the mother's eye ; and, in fine she became herself enamoured of her future son-in-law, 
and practiced every art, both of endearment and of calumny, to transfer his affections 
from her daughter to herself. (The outlines of the Tale are positive facts, and of no 
very distant date, though the Author has purposely altered the names and the scene 
of action, as well as invented the characters of the parties and the detail of the inci- 
dents.) Edward, however, though perplexed by her strange, detractions from her 
daughter's good qualities, yet in the innocence of his own heart still mistaking her 
increasing fondness for motherly affection ; she at length, overcome by her miserable 
passion, after much abuse of Mary's temper and moral tendencies, exclaimed with 
violent emotion— ' O Edward ! indeed, indeed, she is not fit for you— she has not a 
heart to love you as you deserve. It is I that love you ! Marry me, Edward ! and 1 
will this very day settle all my property on you.' The Lover's eyes were now opened ; 
and thus taken by surprise, whether from the effect of the horror which he felt , acting as 
it were hysterically on his nervous system, or that at the first moment he lost the sense 
of guilt of the proposal in the feeling of its strangeness and absurdity, he flung her from 
him and burst into a fit of laughter. Irritated by this almost to frenzy, the woman fell 
on her knees, and in a loud voice that approached to a scream, she prayed for a curse 
both on him and on her own child. Mary happened to be in the room directly above 
them, heard Edward's laugh, and her mother's blasphemous prayer, and fainted away. 
He, hearing the fall, ran up-stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried her oil" to Ellen's 
home ; and after some fruitless attempts on her part toward a reconciliation with her 
mother, she was married to him. — And here the third part of the Tale begins. 

I was not led to choose this story from any partiality to tragic, much less to mon- 
strous events (though at the time that I composed the verses, somewhat more than 
twelve years ago, I was less averse to such subjects than at present), but from finding in 
it a striking proof of the possible effect on the imagination from an Idea violently and 
suddenly impressed on it. 1 had been reading Byran Edward's account of the effect 
of the Oby witchcraft on the Negroes in the West Indies, and Hearne's deeply inter- 
esting anecdotes of similar workings on the imagination of the Copper Indians (those 
of my readers who have it in their power will be well repaid for the trouble of referring 
to those works for the passages alluded to), and I conceived the design of showing that 
instances of this kind are not peculiar to savage or barbarous tribes, and of illustrating 
the mode in which the mind is affected in these cases, and the progress and symptoms 
of the morbid action on the fancy from the beginning. 

The Tale is supposed to be narrated by an old Sexton, in a country churchyard, to 8 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 



18$ 



traveller whose curiosity had been awakened by the appearance of three graves, close 
to each other, to two only of which there were gravestones. On the first of these wan 
the name, and dates, as usual : on the second, no name, but only a date, and the 
words, « The Mercy of God is infinite.'] 



The grapes upon the Vicar's 

wall 

Were ripe as ripe could be ; 

And yellow leaves in sun and 

wind 

Were falling from the tree. 

On the hedge-elms in the narrow 
lane 
Still swung the spikes of corn : 
Bear Lord ! it seems but yester- 
day— | 
> Young Edward's 
morn. 



marn age- 



Up through that wood behind 
the church, 
There leads from Edward's 
door 
A mossy track, all over-boughed, 
For half a mile or more. 

And from their house-door by 

that track 
The bride and bridegroom 

went ; 
Sweet Mary, though she was not 

Seemed cheerful and content. 

But when they to the church- 
yard came, 
I've heard poor Mary say, 
As soon as she stepp'd into the 
sun, 
Her heart it died away. 

And when the Vicar joined 
their hands, 
Her limbs did creep and 
freeze ; 
But when they prayed, she 
thought she saw 
Her mother on her knees. 



1818. 

And o'er the church-path they 
returned — 
I saw poor Mary's back, 
Just as she stepp'd beneath the 
boughs 
Into the mossy track. 

Her feet upon the mossy track 
The married maiden set : 

That moment — I have heard her 
say- 
She wished she could forget. 

The shade o'er-flushedher limbs 
with heat — 
Then came a chill like death : 
And when the merry bells rang 
out, 
They seemed to stop her 
breath. 

Beneath the foulest mother's 
curse 

No child could ever thrive : 
A mother is a mother still, 

The holiest thing alive. 



So 



passed : the 



five months 

mother still 
Would never heal the strife \ 
But Edward was a loving man, 
And Mary a fond wife. 

' My sister may not visit us, 
My mother says her nay, 

Edward ! you are all to me, 

1 wish for your sake I could be 
More lifesome and more gay. 

' I'm dull and sad ! indeed, 
indeed 

I know I have no reason ! 
Perhaps I am not well in health, 

And 'tis a gloomy season.' 



186 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



'Twas a drizzly time — no ice, no 
snow ! 
And on the few fine days 
She stirred not out, lest she 
might meet 
Her mother in the ways. 

But Ellen, spite of miry ways 

And weather dark and dreary. 
Trudged every day to Edward's 
house, 
And made them all more 
cheery. 

Oh ! Ellen was a faithful friend, 

More dear than any sister ! 
As cheerful too as singing lark : 
And she ne'er left them till 'twas 
dark, 
And then they always missed 
her. 

And now Ash Wednesday came 
— that day 
But few to church repair : 
For on that day you know we 
read 
The Cornmination prayer. 

Our late old Vicar, a kind man, 
Once, Sir, he said to me, 

He wished that service was clean 
out 
Of our good liturgy. 

The mother walked into the 

church-- 
To Ellen's seat she went: 
Though Ellen always kept her 

church 
All church-days during Lent. 

And gentle Ellen welcomed her 
With courteous looks and 
mild : 
Thought she ' what if her heart 
should melt, 
And all be reconciled ! ' 



The day was scarcely like a 
day — 
The clouds were black out- 
right : 
And many a night, with half a 
moon, 
I've seen the church mor« 
light. 

The wind was wild ; against the 
glass 
The rain did beat and bicker ; 
The church- tower swinging over 
head, 
You scarce could hear the 
Vicar ! 

And then and there the mother 
knelt, 
And audibly she cried — 
' Oh ! may a clinging curse con- 
sume 
This woman by my side ! 

' O hear me, hear me, Lord in 
Heaven, 
Although you take my life — 

curse this woman at whose 

house 
Young Edward woo'd his 
wife. 

' By night and day, in bed and. 
bower, 
O let her cursed be ! ' 
So having prayed, stead y and 
slow, 
She rose up from her knee, 
And left the church, nor e ei 
again 
The church-door entered she. 

1 saw poor Ellen kneeling still, 
So pale, I guessed not why : 

When she stood up, there 
plainly was 
A trouble in her eye. 



MEDITATIVE POEMS. 



.87 






And when the prayers were 
done, we all 
Came round and asked her 
why: 
Giddy she seemed, and sure 
there was 
A trouble in her eye. 

But ere she from the church^ 
door stepped 
She smiled and told us why : 
1 It was a wicked woman's 
curse,' 
Quoth she, ' and what care 
I?' 
She smiled, and smiled, and 
passeo\it off 
Ere from the door she stept. 
But all agree it would have been 
Much better had she wept. 

And if her heart was not at 
ease, 
This was her constant cry — 

'It was a wicked woman's 
• curse- 
God's good, and what care I ?' 

There was a hurry in her looks, 

Her struggles she redoubled : 
1 It was a wicked woman's 
curse, 
And why should I be 
troubled ? ' 

These tears will come — I dan- 
dled her 
When 'twas the merest fairy — 
Good creature ! and she hid it 
all: 
She told it not to Mary. 

But Mary heard the tale: her 
arms 
Round Ellen's neck she threw; 
( Ellen, Ellen, she cursed me, 
And now she hath cursed 
you ! ' 



I saw young Edward by himself 
Stalk fast adown the. lee, 

He snatched a stick from every 
fence, 
A twig from every tree. 

He snapped them still with hand 
or knee, 
And then away they flew ! 
As if with his uneasy limbs 
He knew not what to do ! 
You see, good Sir ! that single 
hill? 
His farm lies underneath ; 
He heard it there, he heard it 
all, 
And only gnashed his teeth. 
Now Ellen was a darling love 

In all his joys and cares r 
And Ellen's name and Mary's 
name [came, 

Fast-linked they both together 
Whene'er he said his prayers. 
And in the moment of his pray- 
ers 
He loved them both alike : 
Yea, both sweet names with one 
sweet joy 
Upon his heart did strike ! 
He reached his home, and by his 
looks 
They saw his inward strife : 
And they clung round him with 
their arms, 
Both Ellen and his wife. 
And Mary could not check her 
tears, 
So on his breast she bowed ; 
Then frenzy melted into grief, 

And Edward wept aloud. 
Dear Ellen did not weep at all, 

But closelier did she cling, 
And turned her face and looked 
as if 
She saw some frightful things 



i88 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



THE THREE GRAVES. 



PART IV 



To see a man tread over graves 
I hold it no good mark ; 

'Tis wicked in the sun and moon, 
And bad luck in the dark ! 

You see that grave ? The Lord 
he gives, 

The Lord he takes away : 
O Sir ! the child of my old age 

Lies there as cold as clay. 

Except that grave, you scarce 
see one 

That was not dug by me ! 
I'd rather dance upon 'em all 

Then tread upon these three ! 

'Ay, Sexton! 'tis a touching 
tale.' 
You, Sir ! are but a lad ; 
This month I'm in my seventieth 
year, 
And still it makes me sad. 

And Mary's sister told it me, 
For three good hours and 
more ; 
Though I had heard it, in the 
main, 
Prom Edward's self before. 

Well ! it passed off ! the gentle 
Ellen 
Did well nigh dote on Mary; 
And she went oftener than be- 
fore, 
And Mary loved her more and 
more : 
She managed all the dairy. 

To market she on market-days, 
To church on Sundays came ; 

All seemed the same : all seemed 
so, Sir ! 
But all was not the same ! 



Had Ellen lost her mirth ? Oh ! 
no ! 
But she was seldom cheerful ; 
And Edward looked as if he 
thought 
That Ellen's mirth was fear- 
ful, 

When by herself, she to herself 
Must sing some merry rhyme ; 

She could not now be glad for 
hours, 
Yet silent all the time 

And when she soothed her friend, 
through all 

Her soothing words 'twas plain 
She had a sore grief of her own, 

A haunting in her brain. 

And oft she said, I'm not grown 
thin ! 
And then her wrist she 
spanned ; 
And once when Mary was down- 
cast, 
She took her by the hand, 
And gazed upon her, and at first 
She gently pressed her hand ; 

Then harder, till her grasp at 
length 

Did grip like a convulsion ! 
Alas ! said she, we ne'er can be 

Made happy by compulsion ! 

And once her both arms sud- 
denly 
Round Mary's neck she flung, 
And her heart panted, and she 
felt 
The words upon her tongue. 



MEDITA TIVE POEMS. 



189 



She felt them coming, but no 
power 
Had she the words to smother ; 
And with a kind of shriek she 
cried, 
1 Christ 1 you're like your 
mother ! ' 

Bo gentle Ellen now no more 
Could make this sad house 
cheery ; 

And Mary's melancholy ways 
Drove Edward wild and weary. 

Lingering he raised his latch at 
eve, 
ThougnX tired in heart and 
limb : 
lie loved no other place, and yet 
Home was no home to him. 

One evening he took up a book, 
And nothing in it read ; 

Then flung it down, and groan- 
ing cried, 
'O Heaven ! that I were dead.' 

Mary looked up into his face, 
And nothing to him said ; 

She tried to smile, and on his 
arm 
Mournfully leaned her head. 

And he burst into tears and fell 
Upon his knees in prayer : 
Her heart is broke ! O Grod ! my 

grief, 
It is too great to bear ! ' 

Twas such a foggy time as 
makes 
Old sextons, Sir ! like me, 
Rest on their spades to cough ; 
the spring 
Was late uncommonly. 

A.nd then the hot days, all at 
once, 
They came, we know not how : 



You looked about for shade, 
when scarce 
A leaf was on a bough. 

It happened then ('twas in the 
bower 
A furlong up the wood : 
Perhaps you know the place, 
and yet 
I scarce know how you 
should, — ) 

No path leads thither, 'tis not 
nigh 
To any pasture-plot ; 
But clustered near the chatter- 
ing brook, 
Lone hollies marked the spot. 

Those hollies of themselves a 
shape 
As of an arbor took, 
A close, round arbor ; and it 
stands 
Not three strides from a brook. 

Within this arbor, which was 
still 
With scarlet berries hung, 
Were these three friends, one 
Sunday morn 
Just as the first bell rung. 

'Tis sweet to hear a brook, 'tis 
sweet 
To hear the Sabbeth-bell, 
'Tis sweet to hear them both at 
once, 
Deep in a woody dell. 

His limbs along the moss, his 
head 
Upon a mossy heap, 
With shut-up senses, Edward 

lay : 
That brook e'en on a working 
day 
Might chatter one to sleep. 



190 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



And he had passed a restless 
night, 
And was not well in health ; 
The women sat down by his 
side, 
And talked as 'twere by 
stealth. 

e The sun peeps through theclosa 
thick leaves. 

See, dearest Ellen ! see ! 
'Tis in the leaves, a little sun, 

No bigger than your ee ; 

1 A tiny sun, and it has got 

A perfect glory too ; 
Ten thousand threads and hairs 

of light, 
Make up a glory, gay and bright, 

Round that small orb, so blue. 

And then they argued of those 

rays, 

What color they might be ; 

Says this, ' they're mostly green;' 

says that, 

1 They're amber-like to me.' 

So they sat chatting, while bad 
thoughts 
Were troubling Edward's rest; 



But soon they heard his hard 
quick pants, 
And the thumping in hii 
breast. 

* A mother too ! ' these self-same 
words 
Did Edward mutter plain ; 
His face was drawn back on it- 
self, 
With horror and huge pain. 

Both groaned at once, for both 

knew well 

What thoughts were in his 

mind; 

When he waked up, and stared 

like one [blind. 

That hath been just struck 

He sat upright ; and ere the 
dream 
Had had time to depart, 
' O God, forgive me ! (he ex- 
claimed) 
I have torn out her heart.' 

Then Ellen shrieked, and forth- 
with burst 
Into ungentle laughter ; 
And Mary shivered, where she 
sat, 
And never she smiled after. 



Carmen reliquum in futurum tempus relegatum. 
and To-morrow I— - 



To-morrow ! and To-morrow 1 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 191 

ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 
DEJECTION : AN ODE. 

Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon, 
With the old Moon in her arms ; 
And I fear, I fear, my Master dear I 
We shall have a deadly storm. 

Ballad of Sir Patrick Spekcm. 



Well ! If the Bard was weather-wise who made 
The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence, 
This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence 
TJnroused by winds, that ply a busier trade 
Than those who mould yon cloud in lazy flakes, 
Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and rakes 
Upon the strings of this Eolian lute, 
Which better far were mute. 
For lo ! the new Moon winter-bright ! 
And overspread with phantom light, 
(With swimming phantom light o'erspread 
But rimmed and circled by a silver thread,) 
I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling 

The coming on of rain and squally blast. 
And oh ! that even now the gust were swelling, 

And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast ! 
Those sounds which oft .have raised me, whilst they awed, 

And sent my soul abroad, 
Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give, 
Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live I 

11. 

A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear, 

A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, 

Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, 
In word, or sigh, or tear — 
O Lady ! in this wan and heartless mood, 
To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo'd, 

All this long eve, so balmy and serene, 
Have I been gazing on the western sky, 




And its peculiar tint of yellow green : 
And still I gaze — and with how blank an eye ! 
And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, 
That give away their motion to the stars ; 
Those stars, that glide behind them or between, 
Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen : 
Yon crescent Moon as fixed as if it grew 
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue ; 
I see them all so excellently fair, 
I see, not feel, how beautiful they are ! 

in. 

My genial spirits fail ; 

And what can these avail 
To lift the smothering weight from off my breast ? 

It were a vain endeavor, 

Though I should gaze forever 
On that green light that lingers in the west : 
I may not hope from outward forms to win 
The passion and the life, whose fountains are within. 

IV. 

O Lady ! we receive but what we give, 
And in our life alone does nature live : 
Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud ! ' 

And would we aught behold, of higher worth, 
Than that inanimate cold world allowed 
To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd, 

Ah ! from the soul itself must issue forth, 
A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud 

Enveloping the Earth — 
And from the soul itself must there be sent 

A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth, 
Of all sweet sounds the life and element ! 



O pure of heart ! thou need'st not ask of me 
What this strong music in the soul may be ! 
What, and wherein it doth exist, 
This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist, 
This beautiful and beauty-making power. 

Joy, virtuous Lady ! Joy that ne'er was given, 
Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, 
Life, and Life's eiliuence, cloud at once and shower, 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. ictf 

Joy, Lady ! is the spirit and the power, 
Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower, 

A new Earth and new Heaven, 
Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud — 
Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud — 

We in ourselves rejoice ! 
And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight, 

All melodies the echoes of that voice, 
All colors a suffusion from that light. 

VI. 

There was a time when, though my path was rough, 

This joy within me dallied with distress, 
And all misfortunes were but as the stuff 

Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness : 
For hope grew round me, like the twining vine, 
And fruits, and foliage, not my own, semed mine. 
But now afflictions bow me down to earth : 
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth, 

But oh ! each visitation 
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth, 

My shaping spirit of Imagination. 
For not to think of what I needs must feel, 

But to be still and patient, all I can ; 
And haply by abstruse research to steal 

From my own nature all the natural man — 

This was my sole resource, my only plan : 
Till that which suits a part infects the whole, 
And now is almost grown the habit of my soul. 

VII. 

Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind, 

Reality's dark dream ! 
1 turn from you, and listen to the wind, 

Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream 
Of agony by torture lengthened out 
That lute sent forth ! Thou Wind, that ravest witho^ , 

Bare craig, or mountain-tairn,* or blasted tree, 
Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb, 
Or lonely house, long held the witches' home, 

Methinks were fitter instruments for thee, 

• Tairn is a small lake, generally, if not always, applied to the lakes up in the 
mountains, and which are the feeders of those in the valleys. This address to th© 
Storm-wind will not appear extravagant to those who have heard it at night, and in a 
mountainous country. 

13 



'94 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Mad Lutanist ! who in this month of showers. 
Of dark brown gardens, and of peeping flowers, 
Mak'st Devils' yule, with worse than wintry song, 
The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among. 
Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds ! 
Thou mighty Poet, e'en to frenzy bold ! 
What tell'st thou now about ? 
'Tis of the rushing of a host in rout, 
With groans of trampled men, with smarting wounds— 
At once they groan with pain, and shudder with the cold 
But hush ! there is a pause of deepest silence ! 

And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd, 
With groans, and tremulous shudderings — all is over — 
It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and loud I 
- A tale of less affright, 

And tempered with delight, 
As Otway's self had framed the tender lay, 
'Tis of a little child 
Upon a lonesome wild, 
Not far from home, but she hath lost her way : 
And now moans low in bitter grief and fear, 
And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear* 

VIII. 

'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep : 
Pull seldom may my friend such vigils keep ! 
Visit her, gentle Sleep ! with wings of healing, 

And may this storm be but a mountain-birth, 
May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling, 

Silent as though they watched the sleeping Earth ! 
With light heart may she rise, 
Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, 

Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice ; 
To her may all things live, from pole to pole, 
Their life the eddying of her living soul ! 

O simple spirit, guided from above, 
Dear Lady ! friend devoutest of my choice, 
Thus mayest thou ever, evermore rejoice. 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 195 



ODE TO GEORGIANA, 

DUCHESS OF DEVONSHIRE, ON THE TWENTY- FOURTH STANZA 
IN HER 'PASSAGE OVER MOUNT GOTHARD.' 

* And hail the chapel ! hail the platform wild 
Where Tell directed the avenging dart, 
With well-strung arm, that first preserved his child, 
Then aimed the arrow at the tyrant's heart.' 

Splendor's fondly fostered child ! 
And did you hail the platform wild, 

Where once the Austrian fell 

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Whence learn'd you that heroic measure ? 



\ 

Light as a dream your days their circlets ran, 
From all that teaches brotherhood to Man 
Far, far removed ! from want, from hope, from fear I 
Enchanting music lulled your infant ear, 
Obeisance, praises soothed your infant heart : 

Emblazonments and old ancestral crests, 
With many a bright obtrusive form of art, 

Detained your eye from nature : stately vests, 
That veiling strove to deck your charms divine, 
Rich viands and the pleasurable wine, 
Were yours unearned by toil ; nor could you see 
The unenjoying toiler's misery. 
And yet, free Nature's uncorrupted child, 
You nailed the chapel and the platform wild, 
Where once the Austrian fell 
Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 

O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 

Whence learn'd you that heroic measure ? 

There crowd your finely-fibred frame, 

All living faculties of bliss ; 
And Genius to your cradle came, 
His forehead wreathed with lambent flame, 

And bending low, with godlike kiss 

Breathed in a more celestial life ; 
But boasts not many a fair compeer, 

A heart as sensitive to joy and fear 
And some, perchance, might wage an equal strife, 
Some few, to nobler being wrought, 
Corrivals in the nobler gift of thought. 



I9*> COLERIDGE S POEMS. 

Yet these delight to celebrate 

Laurelled war and plumy state ; 

Or in verse and music dress 

Tales of rustic happiness — 
Pernicious tales ! insidious strains ! 

That steel the rich man's breast, 

And mock the lot unblest, 
The sordid vices and the abject pains, 
Which evermore must be 
The doom of ignorance and penury ! 
But you, free Nature's uncorrupted child, 
You hailed the chapel and the platform wild 

Where once the Austrian fell 

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
O Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Whence learn'd you that heroic measure? 



You were a mother ! That most holy name, 
Which Heaven and Nature bless, 
I may not vilely prostitute to those 

Whose infants owe them less 
Than the poor caterpillar owes 
Its gaudy parent fly. 
You were a mother ! at your bosom fed 

The babes that loved you. You, with laughing eye, 
Each twilight-thought, each nascent feeling read, 
Which you yourself created. Oh ! delight I 
A second time to be a mother, 

Without the mother's bitter groans : 
Another thought, and yet another, 
By touch, or taste, by looks or tones 
O'er the growing sense to roll, 
The mother of your infant's soul 1 
The Angel of the Earth, who, while he guides 

His chariot-planet round the goal of day, 
All trembling gazes on the eye of God, 

A moment turned his awful face away ; 
And as he viewed you, from his aspect sweet 

New influences in your being rose, 
Blest intuitions and communions fleet 
With living Nature, in her joys and woes 
Thenceforth your soul rejoiced to see 
The shrine of social Liberty ! 
O beautiful ! O Nature's child ! 
'Tvvas thence you hailed the platform wild 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. T97 

Where once the Austrian fell 

Beneath the shaft of Tell ! 
Lady, nursed in pomp and pleasure ! 
Thence learn'd you that heroic measure. 



ODE TO TRANQUILLITY. 

Tranquillity ! thou better name 

Than all the family of Fame ! 

Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age 

To low intrigue, or factious rage ; 

For oh ! dear child of thoughtful Truth, 

To thee I gave my early youth, 
And left the bark, and blest the steadfast shore, 
Ere yet the tempest rose and scared me with its roar. 

Who late and lingering seeks thy shrine. 
On him but seldom, Power divine, 
Thy spirit rests ! Satiety 
And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee, 
Mock the tired worldling. Idle hope 
And dire remembrance interlope. 
To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind : 
The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind. 

But me thy gentle hand will lead 
At morning through the accustomed mead ; 
And in the sultry summer's heat 
Will build me up a mossy seat ; 
And when the gust of Autumn crowds, 
And breaks the busy moonlight clouds, 
Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune, 
Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding moon. 

The feeling heart, the searching soul, 

To thee I dedicate the whole ! 

And while within myself I trace 

The greatness of some future race, 

Aloof with hermit-eye I scan 

The present works of present man — 
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile, 
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile ! 



198 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

LINES TO W. L. 

WHILE HE SANG A SONG TO PURCELL'S MUSIC. 

While my young cheek retains its healthful hues, 

And I have many friends who hold me dear;. 

L ! methinks, I would not often hear 

Such melodies as thine, lest I should lose 
All memory of the wrongs and sore distress, 

For which my miserable brethren weep ! 

But should uncomforted misfortunes steep 
My daily bread in tears and bitterness ; 
And if at death's dread moment I should lie, 

With no beloved face at my bed-side, 
To fix the last glance of my closing eye, 

Methinks, such strains, breathed by my angel-guide, 
Would make me pass the cup of anguish by, 

Mix with the blest, nor know that I had died 1 



ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE 

WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT AND CAUSELESS 
MELANCHOLY. 

Hence that fantastic wantonness of woe. 

O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear ! 
To plundered want's half-sheltered hovel go, 

Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear 

Moan haply in a dying mother's ear : 
Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood 
O'er the rank church-yard with sear elm-leaves strewed, 
Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part 

Was slaughtered, where o'er his uncoffined limbs 
The nocking flesh-birds screamed ! Then, while thy heart 

Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims, 
Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind) 
What nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal ! 

O abject ! if, to sickly dreams resigned, 
All effortless thou leave life's common-weal 

A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind. 






ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 199 



THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE-HYMN. 

COPIED FROM A PRINT OP THE VIRGIN, IN A ROMAN CATHOLIC 
VILLAGE IN GERMANY. 

Dormi, Jesu ! Mater ridet 
Quae tarn dulcem somnum videt, 

Dormi, Jesu ! blandule ! 
Si non dormis, Mater plorat, 
Inter fila cantans orat, 

Blande, veni, somnule. 

\ ENGLISH. 

Sleep, sweet babe ! my cares beguiling: 
Mother sits beside thee smiling ; 

Sleep, my darling, tenderly ! 
If thou sleep not, mother mourneth, 
Singing as her wheel she turneth : 

Come, soft slumber, balmily I 



EPITAPH ON AN INFANT. 

Its balmy lips the infant blest 
Relaxing from its mother's breast, 
How sweet it heaves the happy sigh 
Of innocent satiety ! 

And such my infant's latest sigh ! 
O tell, rude stone ! the passer by, 
That here the pretty babe doth lie, 
Death sang to sleep with Lullaby. 



MELANCHOLY. 



A FRAGMENT. 



Stretched on a mouldered Abbey's broadest wall, 
Where ruining ivies propped the ruins steep— 

Her folded arms wrapping her tattered pall, 
Had Melancholy mused herself to sleep. 



200 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



The fern was pressed beneath her hair, 
The dark green adder's tongue was there ; 
And still as past the flagging sea-gale weak, 
The long lank leaf bowed fluttering o'er her cheek. 

That pallid cheek was flushed : her eager look 
Beamed eloquent in slumber ! Inly wrought, 

Imperfect sounds her moving lips forsook, 

And her bent forehead worked with troubled thought. 
Strange was the dream 



TELL'S BIRTH-PLACE 

IMITATED FROM STOLBERG. 



Mark this holy chapel well ! 
The birth-place, this, of William Tell. 
Here, where stands God's altar dread, 
Stood his parents' marriage-bed. 

II. 

Here, first, an infant to her breast, 
Him his loving mother prest ; 
And kissed the babe, and blessed the day, 
And prayed as mothers used to pray. 

in. 

* Vouchsafe him health, O God ! and give 
The child thy servant still to live ! ' 
But God had destined to do more 
Through him than through an armed power. 

IV. 

God gave him reverence of laws, 

Yet stirring blood in Freedom's cause— 

A spirit to his rocks akin, 

The eye of the hawk and the fire therein I 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 201 

V. 

To Nature and to Holy Writ 
Alone did God the boy commit : 
Where flashed and roared the torrent, oft 
His soul found wings, and soared aloft ! 

VI. 

The straining oar and chamois chase 
Had formed his limbs to strength and grace: 
On wave and wind the boy would toss, 
Was great, nor knew how great he was ! 

VII. 

He knew not that his chosen hand, 
Made strong by God, his native land 
Would rescue from the shameful yoke 
Of Slavery — the which he broke ! 



A CHRISTMAS CAROL. 



The shepherds went their hasty way, 

. And found the lowly stable-shed 

Where the Virgin-Mother lay : 
And now they checked their eager tread, 
For to the Babe, that at her bosom clung, 
A mother's song the Virgin-Mother sung. 

II. 
They told her how a glorious light, 

Streaming from a heavenly throng, 
Around them shone, suspending night ! 
While sweeter than a mother's song, 
Blest Angels heralded the Saviour's birth, 
Glory to God on high ! and Peace on Earth. 

in. 
She listened to the tale divine, 

And closer still the Babe she prest ; 
And while she cried, the Babe is mine ! 
The milk rushed faster to her breast : 
Joy rose within her, like a summer's morn ; 
Peace, Peace on Earth I the Prince of Peace Is born. 



202 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



IV. 

Thou Mother of the Prince of Peace, 

Poor, simple, and of low estate ! 
That strife should vanish, battle cease, 
O why should this thy soul elate ? 
Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story, — — 
Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and "glory ? 



And is not War a youthful king, 
, A stately hero clad in mail ? 
- Beneath his footsteps laurels spring ; 

Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail 
Their friend, their playmate ! and his bold bright eyo 
Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh. 

VI. 

'Tell this in some more courtly scene, 

To maids and youths in robes of state I 
I am a woman poor and mean, 
And therefore is my soul elate. 
War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, 
That from the aged father tears his child I 

VII. 

* A murderous fiend, by fiends adored, 
He kills the sire and starves the son ; 
The husband kills, and from her board 
Steals all his widow's toil had won ; 
Plunders God's world of beauty ; rends away 
All safety from the night, all comfort from the day. 

VIII. 

'Then wisely is my soul elate 

That strife should vanish, battle cease : 
I'm poor and of low estate, 
The Mother of the Prince of Peace. 
Joy rise in me, like a summer's morn : 
Peace, Peace on Earth ! the Prince of Peace is born.' 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 203 

HUMAN LIFE, 

ON THE DENIAL OF IMMORTALITY, 

If dead, we cease to be ; if total gloom 

Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare 
As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom, 

Whose sound and motion not alone declare, 
But are their whole of being ! If the breath 

Be life itself, and not its task and tent, 
If even a soul like Milton's can know death ; 

O man ! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant, 
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes ! 

Surplus of nature's dread activity, 
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase 
Retreating slow, with meditative pause, 

She formed with restless hands unconsciously ! 
Blank accident ! nothing's anomaly ! 

If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state, 
Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears, 
The counter- weights ! — Thy laughter and thy tears 

Mean but themselves, each fittest to create, 
And to repay the other ! Why rejoices 

Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good ? 

Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood, 
"^hy waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices, 

Image of image, ghost of ghostly elf, 
That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold ? 
Yet what and whence they gain, if thou withhold 

These costless shadows of thy shadowy self ? 
Be sad ! be glad ! be neither ! seek, or shun ! 
Thou hast no reason why ! Thou canst have none'; 
Thy being's being is contradiction. 



THE VISIT OF THE GODS. 

IMITATED FROM SCHILLER. 

Never, believe me, 
Appear the Immortals, 
Never alone : 
Scarce had I welcomed the sorrow-beguiler, 
lacchus ! but in came boy Cupid the smiler ; 



204 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Lo ! Phcebus the glorious descends from his throne I 
They advance, they float in, the Olympians all ! 
With divinities fills my 
Terrestrial hall ! 

How shall I yield you 
Due entertainment, 
Celestial quire ? 
Me rather, bright guests ! with your wings of upbuoyance 
Bear aloft to your homes, to your banquets of joyance, 
That the roofs of Olympus may echo my lyre ! 
llah I we mount ! on their pinions they waft up my soul I 
give me the nectar ! 
fill me the bowl ! 

Give him the nectar ! 
Pour out for the poet, 
Hebe ! pour free ! 
Quicken his eyes with celestial dew, 
That Styx the detested no more he may view, 
And like one of us Gods may conceit him to be! 
Thanks, Hebe ! 1 quaff it ! Io Paean, I cry I 
The wine of the Immortals 
Forbids me to die I 



ELEGY, 

tMITATED FROM ONE OP AKENSIDE'S BLANK- VERSE INSCRIPTIONS 

Near the lone pile with ivy overspread, 

Fast by the rivulet's sleep-persuading sound, 

Where ' sleeps the moonlight ' on yon verdant bed — 
O humbly press that consecrated ground ! 

For there does Edmund rest, the learned swain ! 

And there his spirit most delights to rove : 
Young Edmund ! famed for each harmonious strain, 

And the sore wounds of ill-requited love. 

Like some tall tree that spreads its branches wide, 
And loads the west wind with its soft perfume, 

His manhood blossomed : till the faithless pride 
Of fair Matilda sank him to the tomb. 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 205 

But soon did righteous Heaven her guilt pursue ! 

Where'er with wildered step she wandered pale, 
Still Edmund's image rose to blast her view, 

Still Edmund's voice accused her in each gale. 

With keen regret, and conscious guilt's alarms, 

Amid the pomp of affluence she pined ; 
Nor all that lured her faith from Edmund's arms 

Could lull the wakeful horror of her mind. 

Go, Traveller ! tell the tale with sorrow fraught : 
Some tearful maid perchance, or blooming youth, 

May hold it in remembrance ; and be taught 
That riches cannot pay for Love or Truth. 



THE PANG MORE SHARP THAN ALL. 

AN ALLEGORY. 
I. 

He too has flitted from his secret nest, 
Hope's last and dearest Child without a name !— 
Has flitted from me, like the warmthless flame, 
That makes false promise of a place of rest 
To the tired Pilgrim's still believing mind \ — 
Or like some Elfin Knight in kingly court, 
Who having won all guerdons in his sport, 
Glides out of view, and whither none can find ! 

II. 

Yes ! He hath flitted from me — with what aim, 
Or why, I know not ! 'Twas a home of bliss, 
And He was innocent, as the pretty shame 
Of babe, that tempts and shuns the menaced kiss, 
From its twy-cluster'd hiding-pla'ce of snow ! 
Pure as the babe, I ween, and all aglow 
As the dear hopes, that swell the mother's breast— 
Her eyes down gazing o'er her clasped charge ; — 
Yet gay as that twice happy father's kiss, 
That well might glance aside, yet never miss, 
Where the sweet mark embossed so sweet a targe — 
Twice wretched he who hath been doubly blest I 



206 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



III. 

Like a loose blossom on a gusty night 

He flitted from me — and has left behind 

(As if to them his faith he ne'er did plight) 

Of either sex and answerable mind 

Two playmates, twin-births of his foster-dame : — 

The one "a steady lad (Esteem he hight), 

And Kindness is the gentler sister's name. 

Dim likeness now, tho' fair she be and good, 

Of that bright Boy who hath us all forsook ;— 

But in his full-eyed aspect when she stood, 

And while her face reflected every look, 

And in reflection kindled — she became 

So like Him, that almost she seemed the same 1 

IV. 

Ah ! He is gone, and yet will not depart ! — 
Is with me still, yet I from Him exiled ! 
For still there lives within my secret heart 
The magic image of the magic Child, 
Which there He made up-grow by his strong art 
As in that crystal * orb — wise Merlin's feat, — 
The wondrous ' World of Glass,' wherein inisled 
All longed for things their beings did repeat ; — 
And there He left it, like a Sylph beguiled, 
To live and yearn and languish incomplete ! 

v. 

Can wit of man a heavier grief reveal ? 

Can sharper pang from hate or scorn arise ? — 

Yes ! one more sharp there is that deeper lies, 

Which fond Esteem but mocks when he would heal. 

Yet neither scorn nor hate did it devise, 

But sad compassion and atoning zeal ! 

One pang more blighting-keen than hope betrayed 1 

And this it is my woeful hap to feel, 

When at her Brother's hest, the twin-born Maid, 

With face averted and unsteady eyes, 

Her truant playmate's faded robe puts on ; 

And inly shrinking from her own disguise 

Enacts the fairy Boy that's lost and gone. 

O worse than all ! O pang all pangs above 

Is Kindness counterfeiting absent Love ! 

* Faerie Queene, b. in. c. 2, s. 19. 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS EOEMS. 207 

KUBLA KHAN : OR, A VISION IN A DREAM. 

A FRAGMENT. 

In the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill health, had retired to a 
Jonery farm house between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset 
and Devonshire. In consequence of a slight indisposition, an anodyne had been pre- 
scribed, from the effect of which he fell asleep in his chair at the moment that he was 
reading the following sentence, or words of the same substance, in ' Purchas's Pilgrim- 
age • ' ' Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built, and a stately garden 
thereunto : and thus ten miles of fertile ground were inclosed with a wall.' The 
author continued for about three hours in a profound sleep, at least of the external 
senses, during which time he has the most vivid confidence, that he could not have 
composed less than from two to three hundred lines ; if that indeed can be called com- 
position in which all the images rose up before him as things, with a parallel produc- 
tion of the correspondent expressions, without any sensation or consciousness of ef- 
fort- On awaking he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, 
and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are 
here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on busi- 
ness from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to the room, 
found, to his no email surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some 
yague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the excep- 
tion of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like 
the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone had been cast, but alas { 
without the after restoration of the latter : 

, Then all the charm 

Is broken— all that phantom-world so fair, 
Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, 
And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile, 
Poor youth ! who scarcely dar'st lift up thine eyes— 
The stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon 
The visions will return ! And lo ! he stays, 
And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms 
Come trembling back, unite, and now once more 
The pool becomes a mirror. 

Yet from the stilUsurviving recollections in his mind, the Author has frequently pur- 
posed to finish for himself what had been originally, as it were, given to him. Avpiov 
aSiov acrot . but the to-morrow is yet to come. 

As a contrast to this vision, I have annexed a fragment of a very different charac- 
ter, describing with equal fidelity the dream of pain and disease.— 1816. 

KUBLA KHAN. 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
A stately pleasure-dome decree : 
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran 
Through caverns measureless to man 

Down to a sunless sea. 
So twice five miles of fertile ground 
With walls and towers were girdled round : 
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills 
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree \ 
And here were forests ancient as the hills, 
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. 



208 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted 

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover ! 

A savage place ! as holy and enchanted 

As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted 

By woman wailing for her demon-lover ! 

And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, 

As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, 

A mighty fountain momently was forced : 

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, 

Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail : 

And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever 

It flung up momently the sacred river. 

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion 

Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, 

Then reached the caverns measureless to man, 

And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean : 

And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far 

Ancestral voices prophesying war ! 

The shadow of the dome of pleasure 

Floated mid-way on the waves ; 

Where was heard the mingled measure 

From the fountain and the caves. 
It was a miracle of rare device, 
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice I 

A damsel with a dulcimer 

In a vision once I saw : 

It was an Abyssinian maid, 

And on her dulcimer she played, 

Singing of Mount Abora. 

Could I revive within me 

Her symphony and song, 

To such a deep delight 'twould win m« 
That with music loud and long, 
1 would build that dome in air, 
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice ! 
And all who heard should see them there, 
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware ! 
His flashing eyes, his floating hair ! 
Weave a circle round him thrice, 
And close your eyes with holy dread, 
For he on honey-dew hath fed, 
And drunk the milk of Paradise. 



ODES AND MISCELLANEOUS POEMS, 209 



THE PAINS OF SLEEP. 

ERE on my bed my limbs I lay, 

It hath not been my use to pray 

With moving lips or bended knees ; 

But silently, by slow degrees, 

My spirit 1 to Love compose, 

In humble trust mine eye-lids close, 

With reverential resignation, 

No wish conceived, no thought exprest, 

Only a sense of supplication ; 

A sense o'er all my soul imprest 

That I am weak, yet not unblest, 

Since in me, round me, everywhere 

Eternal strength and wisdom are. 

But yester-night I prayed aloud 

In anguish and in agony, 

Up-starting from the fiendish 'crowd 

Of shapes and thoughts that tortured m« : 

A lurid light, a trampling throng, 

Sense of intolerable wrong, 

And whom I scorned, those only strong ! 

Thirst of revenge, the powerless will 

Still baffled, and yet burning still ! 

Desire with loathing strangely mixed 

On wild or hateful objects fixed. 

Fantastic passions ! maddening brawl ! 

And shame and terror over all ! 

Deeds to be hid which were not hid, 

Which all confused I could not know, 

Whether I suffered, or I did : 

For all seemed guilt, remorse, or woe, 

My own or others, still the same 

Life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame. 

So two nights passed : the night's dismay 

Saddened and stunned the coming day. 

Sleep, the wide blessing, seemed to me 

Distemper's worst calamity. 

The third night, when my own loud scream 

Had waked me from the fiendish dream, 

O'ercome with sufferings strange and wild, 

I wept as I had been a child ; 

And having thus by tears subdued 

My anguish to a milder mood, 

U 



2 1 o COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Such punishments, I said, were due 
To natures deepliest stained with sin, — 
For aye entempesting anew 
The unfathomable hell within 
The horror of their deeds to view, 
To know and loathe, yet wish and do ! 
Such griefs with such men well agree, 
But wherefore, wherefore fall on me? 
To be beloved is all I need, 
And wlioin I love, I love indeed. 






PROSE IN RHYM.E: 

OR, EPIGRAMS, MORALITIES, AND THINGS 
WITHOUT A NAME. 

*Epw? aet AayTjSpos eraipoc. 

In many ways doe* the full heart reveal 

The presence of the love it would conceal ; 

But in far more th' estranged heart lets know 

The absence of the love, which yet it fain would show. 



DUTY SURVIVING SELF-LOVE, 

THE ONLY SURE FRIEND OF DECLINING LIFE. 
A SOLILOQUY. 

Unchanged within to see all changed without, 

Is a blank lot and hard to bear, no doubt. 

Yet why at others' Wanings shouldst thou fret ? 

Then only might'st thou feel a just regret, 

Hadst thou withheld thy love or hid thy light 

In selfish forethought of neglect and slight. 

O wiselier then, from feeble yearnings freed, 

While, and on whom, thou may'st — shine on ! nor heed 

Whether the object by reflected light 

Return thy radiance or absorb it quite : 

And tho' thou notest from thy safe recess 

Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air, 

Love them for what they are ; nor love them less, 

Because to thee they are not what they were. 



SONG. 



Tho* veiled in spires of myrtle wreath, 
Love is a sword that cuts its sheath, 
And thro' the clefts, itself has made, 
We spy the flashes of the Blade I 



eni) 



2 1 2 COLE RID GE'S POEMS. 

But thro' the clefts, itself had made, 
We likewise see Love's flashing blade 
By rust consumed or snapt in twain : 
And only Hilt and Stump remain. 



PHANTOM OR FACT? 

A DIALOGUE IN VERSE. 
AUTHOR. 

A lovely form there sate beside my bed, 
And such a feeding calm its presence shed, 
A tender love so pure from earthly leaven 
That I unnethe the fancy might control, 
'Twas my own spirit newly come from heaven 
Wooing its gentle way into my soul ! 
But ah! the change — It had not stirred, and yet 
Alas ! that change how fain would I forget ? 
That shrinking back, like one that had mistook ! 
That weary, wandering, disavowing Look ! 
'Twas all another, feature, look and* frame, 
And still, methought, I knew it was the same I 

FRIEND. 

This riddling Tale, to what does it belong ? 

Is't History ? Vision ? or an idle Song ? 

Or rather say at once, within what space 

Of Time this wild disastrous change took pla^e ? 

AUTHOR. 

Call it a moment's work (and such it seems), 
This Tale's a Fragment from the Life of Dreams < t 
But say, that years matured the silent strife, 
And 'tis a Record from the Dream of Life. 






WORK WITHOUT HOPE. 

LINES COMPOSED 21ST FEBRUARY, 1827. 

All Nature seems at work. Stags leave their lair — 
The bees are stirring — birds are on the wing — 
And Winter, slumbering in the open air, 
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring ! 
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing, 
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing. 

Yet well I ken the banks where Amaranths blow, 
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar How. 
Bloom, O ye Amaranths ! bloom for whom ye may, 
For me ye bloom not ! Glide, rich streams, away ! 
With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll : 
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul? 
Work without hope draws nectar in a sieve, 
And hope without an object cannot live. 



YOUTH AND AGE. 

Verse, a Breeze 'mid blossoms straying, 
Where hope clung feeding, like a bee— 
Both were mine ! Life went a maying 

With Nature, Hope, and Poesy, 
When I was young ! 
When I was young ? — Ah, woeful when ! 
Ah for the Change 'twixt Now and Then ! 
This breathing House not built with hands, 
This body that does me grievous wrong, 
O'er aery Cliffs and glittering Sands, 
How lightly then it flashed along : — 
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore, 
On winding Lakes and Rivers wide, 
That ask no aid of Sail or Oar, 
That fear no spite of Wind or Tide ! 
Naught cared this body for wind or weather 
When Youth and I lived in't together. 

Flowers are lovely ; Love is flower-like J 
Friendship is a sheltering tree ; 



2 1 4 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



O the Joys, that came down shower-like, 
Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty, 

Ere I was old ! 
Ere I was old ? — Ah, woeful Ere, 
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here ! 

Youth ! for years so many and sweet, 
"Pis known, that thou and I were one, 
I'll think it but a fond conceit — 
"it cannot be that thou art gone ! 
The Vesper-bell hath not yet tolled : — 
And thou wert aye a Masker bold ! 
What strange Disguise hast now put on, 
To make believe, that thou art gone ? 

1 see these Locks in silvery slips, 
This drooping Gait, this altered Size : 
But Springtide blossoms on thy Lips, 
And Tears take sunshine from thine eye* ! 
Life is but Thought : so think I will 
That Youth and I are House-mates still. 



A DAT DKEAM. 

My eyes make pictures when they're shut :— 

I see a fountain large and fair, 
A Willow and a ruined Hut, 

And thee, and me, and Mary there. 
O Mary ! make thy gentle lap our pillow 1 
Bend o'er us, like a bower, my beautiful green Willow J 

A wild-rose roofs the ruined shed, 

And that and summer well agree 
And lo ! where Mary leans her head, 
Two dear names carved upon the tree ! 
And Mary's tears, they are not tears of sorrow : 
Our sister and our friend will both be here to-morrow. 

'Twas Day ! But now few, large, and bright 

The stars are round the crescent moon ! 
And now it is a dark warm Night, 
The balmiest of the month of June ! 
A glow-worm fallen, and on the marge remounting 
Shines, and its shadow shines, fit stars for our sweet fountain, 



PROSE IN RHYME. 2 1 5 



A 



O ever — ever be thou blest ! 

For dearly, Asra ! love I thee ! 
This brooding warmth across my breast, 
This depth of tranquil bliss — ah me ! 
Fount, Tree, and Shed are gone, I know not whither, 
But in one quiet room we three are still together. 

The shadows dance upon the wall, 

By the still dancing fire-flames made ; 
And now they slumber, moveless all ! 
And now they melt to one deep shade ! 
But not from me shall this mild darkness steal thee : 
I dream thee with mine eyes, and at my heart 1 feel thee ! 

Thine eyelash on my cheek doth play — 

'Tis Mary's hand upon my brow ! 
But let me check this tender lay, 

Which none may hear but she and thou ! 
Like the still hive at quiet midnight humming, 
Murmur it to yourselves, ye two beloved women ! 



TO A LADY, 

OFFENDED BY A SPORTIVE OBSERVATION THAT WOMEN HATE 

NO SOULS. 

Nay, dearest Anna ! why so grave? 

I said, you had no soul, 'tis true ! 
For what you are, you cannot have : 

'Tis I, that have one since I first had you ! 



I have heard of reasons manifold 
Why Love must needs be blind, 

But this the best of all I hold— 
His eyes are in his mind. 

What outward form and feature are 

He guesseth but in part ; 
But what within is good and fair 

He seeth with the heart. 



2 1 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

LINES SUGGESTED BY THE LAST WORDS OF 
BERENGARIUS. 

OB. ANNO DOM. 1088. 

No more 'twixt conscience staggering and the Pope 
Soon shall I now before my God appear, 
By him to be acquitted, as I hope ; 
By him to be condemned, as I fear. — 

REFLECTION ON THE ABOVE. 

Lynx amid moles ! had I stood by thy bed, 

Be of good cheer, meek soul ! I would have said : 

I see a hope spring from that humble fear. 

All are not strong alike through storms to steer 

Right onward. What? though dread of threatened death 

And dungeon torture made thy hand and breath 

Inconstant to the truth within thy heart ? 

That truth, from which, through fear, thou twice didst start, 

Fear haply told thee, was a learned strife, 

Or not so vital as to claim thy life : 

And myriads had reached Heaven, who never knew 

Where lay the difference 'twixt the false and true ! 

Ye, who secure 'mid trophies not your own, 
Judge him who won them when he stood alone, 
And proudly talk of recreant Berengare — 
) first the age, and then the man compare ! 
That age how dark ! congenial minds how rare ! 
No host of friends with kindred zeal did burn 1 
No throbbing hearts awaited his return ! 
Prostrate alike when prince and peasant fell, 
He only disenchanted from the spell, 
Like the weak worm that gems the starless night, 
Moved in the scanty circlet of his light : 
And was it strange if he withdrew the ray 
That did but guide the night-birds to their prey ? 

The ascending Day-star with a bolder eye 
Hath lit each dew-drop on our trimmer lawn ! 
Yet not for this, if wise, will we decry 
The spots and struggles of the timid Dawn ; 
Lest so we tempt th' approaching Noon to scorn 
The mists and painted vapors of our Morn. 



PROSE IN RH YME. 2 1 7 



THE DEVIL'S THOUGHTS. 

From his brimstone bed at break of day 
A walking the Devil is gone, 
To visit his little snug farm of the earth 
And see how his stock went on. 

Over the hill and over the dale, 

And he went over the plain, 

And backward and forward he swished his long tail 

As a gentleman swishes his cane. 

And how then was the Devil drest? 

Oh ! he was in his Sunday's best : 

His jacket was red and his breeches were blue, 

And there was a hole where his tail came through. 

fie saw a Lawyer killing a Viper 

On a dung heap beside his stable, 

And the Devil smiled, for it put him in mind, 

Of Cain and his brother, Abel. 

A Pothecary on a white horse 

Rode by on his vocations, 
And the Devil thought of his old Friend 

Death in the Revelations. 

He saw a cottage with a double coach-house, 

A cottage of gentility ! 
And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin 

Is pride that apes humility. 

He went into a rich bookseller's shop, 
Quoth he, we are both of one college, 

For I myself sate like a cormorant once 
Fast by the tree of knowledge.* 

And all amid them Stood the tree of life 

High, eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit 

Of vegetable gold (query paper-money), and next to Life 

Our Death, the tree of knowledge, grew fast by.— 

****** 

* # # # * 

So clomb this first grand thief- 



Thence up he flew, and on the tree of life 
Sat like a cormorant.— Par. Lost, IV. 

The allegory here is so apt, that in a catalogue of various readings obtained from 
collating the MSS. one might expect to find it noted, that for ' Life ' Cod. quid, habent, 
'Trade.' Though indeed the trade, i. e. the bibliopolic, so called ko.t t£6xr\v, may 
be regarded as Life sensu eminentiori; a suggestion, which 1 owe to a young retailer 



1 8 COLE RID GE 'S POEMS. 

Down the river there plied, with wind and tide, 

A pig with vast celerity, 
And the Devil looked wise as he saw how the while 
It cut its own throat. There ! quoth he with a smile, 

Goes ' England's commercial prosperity.' 

As he went through Cold-Bath Fields he saw 

A solitary cell, 
And the Devil was pleased, for it gave him a hint 

For improving his prisons in Hell. 

General burning face 

He saw with consternation, 
And back to Hell his way did he take, 
For the Devil thought by a slight mistake 

It was general conflagration. 



THE ALIENATED MISTRESS* 

A MADRIGAL. 
(PROM AN UNFINISHED MELODRAMA.) 



Lady. 

If Love be dead (and you aver it !) 
Tell me, Bard ! where Love lies buried. 

Poet. 

Love lies buried where 'twas born, 
Ah, faithless nymph ! think it no scorn 



in the hosiery line, who on hearing a description of the net profits, dinner [parties, 
country houses, &c, of the trade, exclaimed, ' Ay! that's what I call Life now!'— 
This ' Life, our Death,' is thus happily contrasted with the fruits of Authorship.— Sic 
nos non nobis mellificamus Apes. 

Of this poem, which with the Fire, Famine, and Slaughter first appeared in the 
Morning Post, the three first stanzas, which are worth all the rest, and the ninth, were 
dictated by Mr. Southey. Between the ninth and the concluding stanza, two or three 
are omitted, as grounded on subjects that have lost their interest— and for better 
reasons . 

If any one should ask, who General meant, the Author begs leave to inform 

him, that be did once see a red-faced person in a dream whom by the dress he took for 
a General ; but he might have been mistaken, and most certainly he did not hear a=\y 
names mentioned. In simple verity, the Author never meant any one, or indeed at %■ 
thing but to put a concluding stanza to his doggerel. 



PROSE IN RHYME. 2 1 9 



A 



If in my fancy I presume 

To name thy bosom poor Love's Tomb, 

And on that Tomb to read the line, 

Here lies a Love that once was mine, 

But took a chill, as I divine, 

And died at length of a decline. 



CONSTANCY TO AN IDEAL OBJECT. 

Since all, that beat about in Nature's range, 
Or veer or vanish ; why should'st thou remain 
The only constant in a world of change, 

yearning thought, that liv'st but in the brain? 
Call to the hours, that in the distance play, 

The fairy people of the future day 

Fond thought ! not one of all that shining swarm 
Will breathe on thee with life-enkindling breath, 
Till when, like strangers shelf ring from a storm, 
Hope and Despair meet in the porch of Death ! 
Yet still thou haunt'st me : and though well I see, 
She is not thou, and only thou art she, 
Still, still as though some dear embodied Good, 
Some living Love before my eyes there stood 
With answering look a ready ear to lend, 

1 mourn to thee and say— ' Ah ! loveliest Friend ! 
That this the meed of all my toils might be, 

To have a home, an English home, and thee ! 
Vain repetition ! Home and Thou are one. 
The peacefulest cot, the moon shall shine upon, 
Lulled by the Thrush and wakened by the Lark, 
Without thee were but a becalmed Bark, 
Whose Helmsman on an Ocean waste and wide 
Sits mute and pale his mouldering helm beside.' 

And art thou nothing ? Such thou art, as when 
The woodman, winding westward up the glen 
At wintry dawn, where o'er the sheep-track's maze 
The vievless snow-mist waves a glist'ning haze, 
Sees full before him, gliding without tread, 
An image * with a glory round its head :' 
The enamoured rustic worships its fair hues, 
Nor knows he makes the shadow he pursues ! 

* This phenomenon, which the Author has himself experienced, and of which the 
reader may find a description in one of the earlier volumes of the Manchester Philo- 



*2° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



THE SUICIDE'S ARGUMENT. 

Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no 
No question was asked me — it could not be so ! 
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try 
And to live on be Yes : what can No be ? to die. 

NATURE'S ANSWER. 

Is't returned as 'twas sent ? Is't no worse for the wear ? 

Think iirst, what you ARE ! Call to mind what you were! 

I gave you innocence, I gave you hope, 

Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope. 

Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair ? 

Make out the Invent'ry ; inspect, compare ! 

Then die — if die you dare 1 



THE BLOSSOMING OF THE SOLITARY DATE TREE. 

A LAMENT. 

f seem to have an indistinct recollection of having read either in one of the pon- 
derous tomes of George of Venice, or in some other compilation from the uninspired 
Hebrew Writers, an Apologue or Rabbinical Tradition to the following purpose : 

While our first parents were yet standing before their otfended Maker, and the last 
words of the sentence were yet sounding in Adam's ear, the guileful false serpent, a 
counterfeit and a usurper from the beginning, presumptuously took on himself the 
character of advocate or moderator, and pretending to intercede' for Adam, exclaimed : 
' Nay, Lord, in thy justice, for the Man was the least in fault. Rather let the Woman 
return at once to the dust, and let Adam remain here all tbe days of his now mortal 
life, and enjoy the respite thou ma\est grant him, in this thy Paradise which thou 
gavest to him, and hast planted with every tree pleasant to the sight of jnan and of 
delicious fruitage.' And the word of the Most High answered Satan : t The tender 
mercies of the wicked are cruel. Treacherous Fiend ! guilt deep as thine could not be, 
yet the love of kind not extinguished. But if, having done what thou hast done, thou 
hadst yet the heart of man within thee, and the yearning of the soul for its answering 
ima^e and completing countc rpart, O spirit desperately wicked ! the sentence thou 
counsellest had been thy own.' 

Tbe title of the following poem was suggested by a fact mentioned by Linnaeus, of 
a Date tree in a nobleman's garden which, year after year, had put forth a full show of 
blossoms, but never produced fruit, till a branch from a Date tree had been conveyed 
from a distance of some hundred leagues. The first leaf of the MS. from which the 
poem has been transcribed, and which contained the two or three introductory stanzas, 

oophical Transactions, is applied figuratively in the following passages of the Aids to 
Reflection : 

' Pindar's tine remark respecting the different effects of music, on different charac- 
ters, bolds equally true of Genius : as many as are not delighted by it are disturbed, 
perplexed, irritated The beholder either recognizes it as a projected form of his own 
Being, that moves before him with a Glory round its head, or recoils from it as a 
spectre.'— Aids to Reflection, p. 220. 



PROSE IN RHYME. 2 2 1 



[g wanting : and the author has in vain taxed his memory to repair the loss. But a 
rude draught of the poem contains the substance of the stanzas, and the reader is re- 
quested to receive it as the substitute. It is not impossible, that some congenial spirit, 
whose years do not exceed those of the author, at the time the poem was written, may 
rind a pleasure in restoring the Lament to its original integrity by a reduction "of the 
Hi oughts to the requisite Metre. 

S. T. C. 

1. 

Beneath the blaze of a tropical sun the mountain peaks are 
the Thrones of Frost, through the absence of objects to reflect the 
rays. ' What no one with us shares, seems scarce our own.' The 
presence of a one, 

The best beloved, who loveth me the best, 

is for the heart, what the supporting air from within is for the hol- 
low globe with its suspended car. Deprive it of this, and all with- 
out that would have buoyed it aloft even to the seat of the gods, 
becomes a burthen and crushes it into flatness. 



The finer the sense for the beautiful and the lovely, and the 
fairer and lovelier the object presented to the sense, the more ex- 
quisite the individual's capacity of joy, and the more ample his 
means and opportunities of enjoyment, the more heavily will he 
feel the ache, of solitariness, the more unsubstantial becomes the 
feast spread around him. What matters it, whether in fact the 
viands and the ministering graces are shadowy or real, to him who 
has not hand to grasp nor arms to embrace them ? 

3. 

Hope, Imagination, honorable Aims, 
Free Commune with the choir that cannot die, 
Science and Song, delight in little things, 
The buoyant child surviving in the man, 
Fields, forests, ancient mountains, ocean, sky, 
With all their voices mute — O dare I accuse 
My earthly lot as guilty of my spleen 
Or call my niggard destiny ! No ! no ! 
It is her largeness, and her overflow, 
Which being incomplete, disquieteth me so 1 



For never touch of gladness stirs my heart, 
But tim'rously beginning to rejoice 
Like a blind Arab, that from sleep doth start 
In lonesome tent, I listen for thy voice. 



222 COLERIDGE \S POEMS. 

Beloved ! 'tis not thine ; thou art not there ! 

Then melts the bubble into idle air, 

And wishing without hope I restlessly despair. 

5. 

The mother with anticipated glee 

Smiles o'er the child, that standing by her chair 

And flatt'ning its round cheek upon her knee 

Looks up, and doth its rosy lips prepare 

To mock the coming sounds. At that sweet sight 

She hears her own voice with a new delight ; 

And if the babe perchance should lisp the notes aright, 

6. 

Then is she tenfold gladder than beorfe f 

But should disease or chance the darling take, 

What then avails those songs, which sweet of yore 

Were only sweet for their sweet echo's sake ? 

Dear maid ! no prattler at a mother's knee 

Was e'er so dearly prized as I prize thee: 

Why was I made for Love and Love denied to me ? 



FANCY m NUBIBUS, 

OR THE POET IN THE CLOUDS. 

! it is pleasant with a heart at ease, 

Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies, 
To make the shifting clouds be what you please, 

Or let the easily persuaded eyes 
Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould 

Of a friend's fancy ; or with head bent low 
And cheek aslant see rivers flow of gold 
'Twixt crimson banks ; and then, a traveller, go 
From mount to mount through Cloudland, gorgeous land! 

Or list'ning to the tide, with closed sight, 
Be that blind bard, who on the Chian strand 

By those deep sounds possessed with inward light 
Beheld the Iliad and Odyssey 

Rise to the swelling of the voicef ul sea. 



PROSE IN RHYME. 12$ 



X 



THE TWO FOUNTS. 

STANZAS ADDRESSED TO A LADY ON HER RECOVERY, WITH 
UNBLEMISHED LOOKS, FROM A SEVERE ATTACK OF PAIN. 

'Twas my last waking thought, how it could be, 
That thou, sweet friend, such anguish should'st endure: 
When straight from Dreamland came a dwarf, and he 
Could tell the cause, forsooth, and knew the cure. 

Methought he fronted me with peering look 
Fixed on my heart ; and read aloud in game 
The loves and griefs therein, as from a book ; 
And uttered praise like one who wished to blame. 

In every heart (quoth he) since Adam's sin 

Two Founts there are, of suffering and of cheer I 

That to let forth, and this to keep within ! 

But she, whose aspect I find imaged here, 

Of pleasure only will to all dispense, 
That Fount alone unlock, by no distress 
Choked or turned inward ; but still issue thence 
Unconquered cheer, persistent loveliness. 

As on the driving cloud the shiny Bow, 
That gracious thing made up of tears and light. 
Mid the wild rack and rain that slants below 
Stands smiling forth, unmoved and freshly bright : 

As though the spirits of all lovely flowers, 
Inweaving each its wreath and dewy crown, 
Or e'er they sank to earth in vernal showers, 
Had built a bridge to tempt the angels down. 

Ev'n so, Eliza ! on that face of thine, 

On that benignant face, whose look alone 

(The soul's translucence through her crystal shrine !) 

Has power to soothe all anguish but thine own. 

A beauty hovers still, and ne'er takes wing, 
But with a silent charm compels the stern 
And tort'ring Genius of the bitter spring, 
To shrink aback, and cower upon his urn. 

Who then needs wonder, if (no outlet found 
In passion, spleen, or strife,) the fount of pain 
O'erflowing beats against its lovely mound, 
And in wild flashes shoots from heart to brain ? 



224 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Sleep, and the Dwarf with that unsteady gleam 
On his raised lip, that aped a critic smile, 
Had passed : yet I, my sad thoughts to beguile, 
Lay weaving on the tissue of my dream : 

Till audibly at length I cried, as though 
Thou hadst indeed been present to my eyes, 

sweet, sweet sufferer ! if the case be so v 

1 pray thee, be less good, less sweet, less wise ! 

In every look a barbed arrow send, 
On those soft lips let scorn and anger live ! 
Do any thing, rather than thus, sweet friend ! 
Hoard for thyself the pain, thou wilt not give I 



PROSE IN RHYME. 22$ 



PREFATORY NOTE TO TPIE WANDERINGS OF CAIN. 

A prose composition, one not in metre at least, seems primCL facie to require ex- 
planation or apology. It was written in the year 1798, near Nether Stowey in Somer- 
setshire, at which place {sanctuvi et amabiie nomen ' rich by so many associations and 
recollections) the Author had taken up his residence in order to enjoy the society and 
close neighborhood of a dear and honored friend, T. Poole, Esq. The work was to 
have been written in concert with another, whose name is too venerable within the 
precincts of genius to be unnecessarily brought into connection with such a trille, and 
who was then residing at a small distance from Nether Stowey. The title and subject 
were suggested by myself, who likewise drew out the scheme and the contents for each 
of the three books or cantos, of which the work was to consist, and which, the reader 
is to be informed, was to have been finished in one night ! My partner undertook the 
first canto ; I the second : and whichever had done Jirst, was to set about the third. 
Almost thirty years have passed by ; yet at this moment 1 cannot without something 
more than a smile moot the question which of the two things was the more impractic- 
able, for a mind so eminently original to compose another man's thoughts and fancies, 
or for a taste so austerely pure and simple to imitate the Death of Abel ? Methinks 1 
see his grand and noble countenance as at the moment when., having despatched my 
own portion of the task at lull finger-speed, 1 hastened to him with my manuscript — 
that look of humorous despondency fixed on his almost blank sheet of paper, and then 
its silent mock-piteous admission of failure struggling with the sense of the exceeding 
ridiculousness of the whole scheme— which broke up in a laugh : and the Ancient 
Mariner was written instead- 

Years afterward, however, the draft of the Plan and proposed incidents, and the 
portion executed, obtained favor in the eyes of more than one person, whose judgment 
on a poetic work could not but have weighed with me, even though no parental par- 
tiality had been thrown into the same scale, as a make-weight : and I determined on 
commencing anew, and composing the whole in stanzas, and made some progress in 
realizing this intention, when adverse gales drove my bark off the ' Fortunate Isles ' of 
the Muses ; and then other and more momentous interests prompted a different voy- 
age, to firmer anchorage and a securer port. I have in vain tried to recover the lines 
from the Palimpsest tablet of my memory ; and I can only offer the introductory 
stanza, which had been committed to writing for the purpose of procuring a friend's 
judgment on the metre, as a specimen. 

Encinctured with a twine of leaves, 

That leafy twine his only dress ! 

A lovely boy was plucking fruits, 

By moonlight, in a wilderness. 

The morn was bright, the air was free, 

And fruits and flowers together grew 

On many a shrub and many a tree : 

And all put on a gentle hue, 

Hanging in the shadowy air 

Like a picture rich and rare. 

It was a climate where, they say, 

The night is more beloved than day. 

But who that beauteous Boy beguiled, 

That beauteous Boy to linger here? 

Alone, by night, a little child, 

In place so silent and so wild- 
Has he no friend, no loving Mother near ? 
I have here given the birth, parentage, and premature decease of the • "Wanderings 
of Cain, a poem,'— entreating, however, my readers not to think so meanly of my judg- 
ment as to suppose that I either regard or offer it as any excuse for the publication of 
the following fragment (and I may add, of one or two others in its neighborhood) in 
its primitive crudity. But I should find still greater difficulty in forgiving myself, 
were I to record pro tcedio publico a set of petty mishaps and annoyances which I my- 
self wish to forget. I must be content, therefore, with assuring the friendly Reader, 
that the less he attributes its appearance to the Author's will, choice, or judgment, the 
nearer to the truth he will be. 

S. T. COL.EBIDGE. 



226 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

THE WANDERINGS OF CAIN. 

CANTO II. 

1 A little further, O my father, yet a little further, and we 
shall come into the open moonlight.' Their road was through a 
forest of fir-trees ; at its entrance the trees stood at distances from 
each other, and the path was broad, and the moonlight and the 
moonlight shadows reposed upon it, and appeared quietly to in- 
habit that solitude. But soon the path winded and became nar- 
row ; the sun at high noon sometimes speckled, but never illumined 
it, and now it was dark as a cavern. 

' It is dark, O my father ! ' said Enos, ' but the path under our 
feet is smooth and soft, and we shall soon come out into the open 
moonlight.' 

' Lead on, my child ! ' said Cain : ' guide me, little child ! ' And 
the innocent little child clasped a finger of the hand which had 
murdered the righteous Abel, and ho guided his father. ' The fir 
branches drip upon thee, my son.' ' Yea, pleasantly, father, for I 
ran fast and eagerly to bring thee the pitcher and the cake, and 
my body is not yet cool. How happy the squirrels are that feed 
on these fir-trees ! they leap from bough to bough, and the old 
squirrels play round their young ones in the nest. I ciomb a tree 
yesterday at noon, O my father, that I might play with them, but 
they leapt away from the branches, even to the slender twigs did 
they leap, and in a moment! beheld them on another tree. Why, 
O my father, would they not play with me ? I would be good to 
them as thou art good to me : and I groaned to them even as thou 
groanest when thou givest me to eat, and when thou coverest me 
at evening, and as often as I stand at thy knee and thine eyes look 
at me ? ' Then Cain stopped, and stifling his groans he sank to 
the earth, and the child Enos stood in the darkness beside him. 

And Cain lifted up his voice and cried bitterly, and said, 'The 
Mighty One that persecuteth me is on this side and on that ; he 
pursueth my soul like the wind, like the sand-blast he passeth 
through me ; he is around me even as the air ! O that I might be 
utterly no more ! I desire to die — yea, the things that never had 
life, neither move they upon the earth — behold ! they seem precious 
to mine eyes. O that a man might live without the breath of his 
nostrils. So I might abide in darkness, and blackness, and an 
empty space ! Yea, I would lie down, I would not rise, neither 
would I stir my limbs till I became as the rock in the den of the 
lion, on which the young lion resteth his head whilst he sleepeth, 



For the torrent that roareth far off hath a voice ; and the clouds 
in heaven look terribly on me ; the Mighty One who is against mo 
speaketh in the wind of the cedar grove ; and in silence am I dried 
up.' Then Enos- spake to his father, ' Arise, my father, arise, we 
are but a little way from the place where 1 found the cake and the 
pitcher.' And Cain said, ' How knowest thou ? ' and the child 
answered — ' Behold, the bare rocks are a few of thy strides distant 
from the forest ; and while even now thou wert lifting up thy 
voice, I heard the echo.' Then the child took hold of his father, 
as if he would raise him : and Cain, being faint and feeble, rose 
slowly on his knees and pressed himself against the trunk of a fir, 
and stood upright and followed the child. 

The path was dark till within three strides' length of its termi- 
nation, when it turned suddenly ; the thick black trees formed a 
low arch, and the moonlight appeared for a moment like a daz- 
zling portal. Enos ran before and stood in the open air ; and 
when Cain, his father, emerged from the darkness, the child was 
affrighted. For the mighty limbs of Cain were wasted as by fire ; 
his hair was as the matted curls on the Bison's forehead, and so 
glared his fierce and sullen eye beneath : and the black abundant 
locks on either side, a rank and tangled mass, were stained and 
scorched, as though the grasp of a burning iron hand had striven 
to rend them ; and his countenance told in a strange and terrible 
language of agonies that had been, and were, and were still to 
continue to be. 

The scene around was desolate ; as far as the eye could reach 
It was desolate : the bare rocks faced each other, and left a long 
and wide interval of thin white sand. You might wander on and 
look round and round, and peep into the crevices of the rocks and 
discover nothing that acknowledged the influence of the seasons. 
There was no spring, no summer, no autumn : and the winter T s 
snow, that would have been lovely, fell not on these hot rocks and 
scorching sands. Never morning lark had poised himself over this 
desert ; but the huge serpent often hissed there beneath the talons 
of the vulture, and the vulture screamed, his wings imprisoned 
within the coils of the serpent. The pointed and shattered sum- 
mits of the ridges of the rocks made a rude mimicry of human con- 
cerns, and seemed to prophesy mutely of things that then were 
not ; steeples, and battlements, and ships with naked masts. As 
far from the wood as a boy might sling a pebble of the brook, 
there was one rock by itself at a small distance from the main 
ridge. It had been precipitated there perhaps by the groan which 
the Earth uttered when our first father fell. Before you ap- 
proached, it appeared to lie flat on the ground, but its base 
slanted from its point, and between its point and the sands a tall 
man might stand upright. It was here that Enos had found the 



228 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

pitcher and cake, and to this place he led his father. But ere 
they had reached the rock they beheld a human shape : his back 
was towards them, and they were advancing unperceived, when 
they heard him smite his breast and cry aloud, ' Woe, is me ! woe, 
is me ! I must never die again, and yet I am perishing with thirst 
and hunger.' 

Pallid, as the reflection of the sheeted lightning on the heavy- 
sailing night-cloud, became the face of Cain ; but the child Enos 
took hold of the shaggy skin, his father's robe, and raised his eyes 
to his father, and listening whispered, f Ere yet I could speak, I 
am sure, O my father, that I heard that voice. Have not I often 
said that I remembered a sweet voice. O my father ! this is it : ' 
and Cain trembled exceedingly. The voice was sweet indeed, but 
it was thin and querulous like that of a feeble slave in misery, 
who despairs altogether, yet cannot refrain himself from weeping 
and lamentation. And behold! Enos glided forward, and creep- 
ing softly round the base of the rock, stood before the stranger, 
and looked up into his face. And the Shape shrieked, and turned 
round, and Cain beheld him, that his limbs and his face were those 
of his brother Abel whom he had killed ! And Cain stood like 
one who struggles in his sleep because of the exceeding terribleness 
of a dream. 

Thus as he stood in silence and darkness of Soul, the Shape 
fell at his feet, and embraced his knees, and cried out with a bitter 
outcry, 'Thou eldest born of Adam, whom Eve, my mother, 
brought forth, cease to torment me I I was feeding my flocks in 
green pastures by the side of quiet rivers, and thou killedst me ; 
and now I am in misery.' Then Cain closed his eyes, and hid 
them with his hands ; and again he opened his eyes, and looked 
around him, and said to Enos, 'What beholdest thou? Didst 
thou hear a voice, my son ? ' ' Yes, my father, I beheld a man in 
unclean garments, and he uttered a sweet voice, full of lamenta- 
tion.' Then Cain raised up the Shape that was like Abel, and 
said, ' The Creator of our father, who had respect unto thee, and 
unto thy offering, wherefore hath he forsaken thee ? ' Then the 
Shape shrieked a second time, and rent his garment, and his naked 
skin was like the white sands beneath their feet ; and he shrieked 
yet a third time, and threw himself on his face upon the sand that 
was black with the shadow of the rock, and Cain and Enos sate 
beside him ; the child by his right hand, and Cain by his left. 
They were all three under the rock, and within the shadow. The 
Shape that was like Abel raised himself up, and spake to the 
child ; ' I know where the cold waters are but I may not drink, 
wherefore didst thou then take away my pitcher?* But Cain 
said, ' Didst thou not find favor in the sight of the Lord thy God ? ' 
The Shape answered, ' The Lord is God of the living only, the 



PROSE IN RHYME. 22(> 



dead^iave another God.' Then the child Enos lifted up his eyes 
and prayed ; but Cain rejoiced secretly in his heart. ' Wretched 
shall they be all the days of their mortal life,' exclaimed the 
Shape, 'who sacrifice worthy and acceptable sacrifices to the God 
of the dead ; but after death their toil ceaseth. Woe is me, for I 
was well beloved by the God of the living, and cruel wert thou, 
my brother, who didst snatch me away from his power and his 
dominion.' Having uttered these words, he rose suddenly, and 
fled over the sands ; and Cain said in his heart, ' The curse of the 
Lord is on me ; but who is the God of the dead ? ' and he ran after 
the Shape, and the Shape fled shrieking over the sands, and the 
sands rose like white mists behind the steps of Cain, but the feet 
of him that was like Abel disturbed not the sands. He greatly 
outran Cain, and turning short he wheeled round, and came 
again to the rock where they had been sitting, and where Enos 
still stood ; and the child caught hold of his garment as he passed 
by and he fell upon the ground. And Cain stopped, and behold- 
ing him not, said, * he has passed into the dark woods,' and he 
walked slowly back to the rocks ; and when he reached it the 
child told, him that he had caught hold of his garment as he 
passed by, and that the man had fallen upon the ground ; and 
Cain once more sat beside him, and said, ' Abel, my brother, I 
would lament for thee, but that the spirit within me is withered, 
and burnt up with extreme agony. Now, I pray thee, by thy 
flocks, and by thy pastures, and by the quiet rivers which thou 
lovedst, that thou tell me all that thou knowest. Who is the God 
of the dead ? where doth he make his dwelling? what sacrifices 
are" acceptable unto him ? for I have offered, but have not been 
received ; I have prayed, and have not been heard ; and how can 
I be afflicted more than I already am ? ' The Shape arose and 
answered, ' O that thou hadst had pity on me as I will have pity 
on thee. Follow me, Son of Adam ! and bring thy child with thee ! ' 
And they three passed over the white sands between the rocks, 
silent as the shadows. 



ZAPOLYA : 

A CHRISTMAS TALE, 

IN TWO PARTS. 



llap 7rvpi \pr) TOtavra Acyei»> xei/u.wyos ev <opa. 

APUD ATHENAEUM. 



PART I. 

THE PRELUDE, 

ENTITLED 

'THE USURPER'S FORTUNE.' 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

The form of the following dramatic poem is in humble imitation of the Winter's 
Tale of Shakspeare, except that I have called the first part a Prelude instead of a 
first Act. as a somewhat nearer resemblance to the plan of the ancients, of which one 
specimen is left us in the iEschylian Trilogy of the Agamemnon, the Orestes, and the 
Eumenides. Though a matter of form merely, yet two plays, on different periods of 
the same tale, might seem less bold, than an interval of twenty years between a first 
and second act. This is, however, in mere obedience to custom. The effect does not, 
in reality, at all depend on the Time of the interval ; but on a very different principle. 
There are cases in which an interval of twenty hours between the acts would have a 
worse effect (i. e. render the imagination less disposed to take the position required) 
than twenty years in other cases. For the rest, I shall be well content if my readers 
will take it up, read and judge it, as a Christmas tale. 

S. T. COLEBIDGB. 



CHARACTERS. 



Emerick Usurping King of Illyrisu 

Kaah Kiuprili . . . . . . An Illynan Chieftain. 

Casimih Son of Kiuprili. 

CHEF Ragozzi A Military Commander. 

Zapolya . . . , , . . . Queen of Illyria, 
(230) 



ZAPOLYA. 231 



,\ . ; SCENE I. 

Front of the Palace with a magnificent Colonnade. On one side 
a military Guard-house. Sentries pacing backward and for- 
ward before the Palace. Chef Ragozzi, at the door of the 
Guard-house* as looking forwards at some object in the distance* 

Chef Ragozzi. 

My eyes deceive me not, it must be he. 

Who but our chief, my more than father, who 

But Raab Kiuprili moves with such a gait ? 

Lo ! e'en this eager and unwonted haste 

Put agitates, not quells, it's majesty. 

My patron ! my commander ! yes, 'tis he ! 

Call out the guards. The Lord Kiuprili comes. 

Drums beat, cfrc, the Guard turns out. Enter Raab Kiuprilt. 
Raab Kiuprili. {Making a signal to stop the drums, &c.) 

Silence ! enough ! This is no time, young friend ! 

For ceremonious dues. The summoning drum, 

Th' air-shattering trumpet, and the horseman's clatter, 

Are insults to a dying sovereign's ear. 

Soldiers, 'tis well ! Retire ! your General greets you, 

His loyal fellow- warriors. [Guards retire* 

Chef Ragozzi. 

Pardon my surprise, 
Thus sudden from the camp, and unattended ! 
What may these wonders prophesy ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Tell me first, 
How fares the king ? His Majesty still lives ? 

Chef Ragozzi. 
We know no otherwise ; but Emerick's friends 
(And none but they approach him) scoff at hope. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Ragozzi ! I have reared thee from a child, 
And as a child have reared thee. Whence this air 
Of mystery ? That face was wont to open 
Clear as the morning to me, showing all things. 
Hide nothing from me. 



2 $2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Chef Ragozzi. 

most loved, most honored, 

The mystery, that struggles in my looks, 
Betrayed my whole tale to thee, if it told thee 
That I am ignorant ; but fear the worst. 
And mystery is contagious. All things here 
Are full of motion : and yet all is silent: 
And bad men's hopes infect the good with fears. 

Raab Kiuprili. (His hand to his heart.) 

1 have trembling proof within, how true thou speakest. 

Chef Ragozzi. 
That the Prince Emerick feasts the soldiery. 
Gives splendid arms, pays the commander's debts, 
And (it is whispered) by sworn promises 
Makes himself debtor — hearing this, thou hast heard 

All {then in a subdued and saddened voice.) 

But what my lord will learn too soon himself. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Ha ? — Well then, let it come ! Worse scarce can come. 
This letter written by the trembling hand 
Of royal Andreas calls me from the camp 
To his immediate presence. It appoints me, 
The Queen, and Emerick, guardians of the realm, 
And of the royal infant. Day by day. 
Robbed of Zapolya's soothing cares, the king 
Yearns only to behold one precious boon, 
And with his life breathe forth a father's blessing. 

• Chef Ragozzi. 
Remember you, my lord ! that Hebrew leech, 
Whose face so much distempered you ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Barzoni ? 
I held him for a spy ; but the proof failing 
(More courteously, I own, than released myself) 
I sent him from the camp. 

Chef Ragozzi. 

To him in chief, 
Prince Emerick trusts his royal brother's health. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Hide nothing, I conjure you ! What of him ? 



ZAPOLYA. 233 



Chef Ragozzi. 
With pomp of words beyond a soldier's cunning, 
And shrugs and wrinkled brow, he smiles and whispers ; 
Talks in dark words of women's fancies ; hints 
That 'twere a useless and a cruel zeal 
To rob a dying man of any hope, 
However vain, that soothes him : and, in fine, 
Denies all chance of offspring from the Queen. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
The venomous snake ! My heel was on its head, 
And (fool !) I did not crush it ! 

Chef Ragozzi. 

Nay, he fears, 
Zapolya will not long survive her husband. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Manifest treason ! Even this brief delay 
Half makes me an accomplice — (If he live,) 

[Is moving toward the Palace. 
If he but live and know me, all may — 

Chef Ragozzi. 

Haiti [Stops him. 

On pain of death, my Lord ! am I commanded 
To stop all ingress to the palace. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Thou! 
Chef Ragozzi. 
No Place, no Name, no Rank excepted — 

Raab Kiuprili. 



Thou! 



Chef Ragozzi. 



This life of mine, O take it, Lord Kiuprili ! 

I give it as a weapon to thy hands, 

Mine own no longer. Guardian of Illyria, 

Useless to thee 'tis worthless to myself. 

Thou art the framer of my nobler being : 

Nor does there live one virtue in my soul, 

One honorable hope, but calls thee father. 

Yet ere thou dost resolve, know that yon palace 

Is guarded from within, that each access 



234 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Is thronged by armed conspirators, watched by Ruffians 
Pampered with gifts, and hot upon the spoil 
Which that false promiser still trails before them. 
I ask but this one boon — reserve my life 
Till I can lose it for the realm and thee ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 
My heart is rent asunder. O my country, 
fallen Illyria, stand I here spell-bound ? 
Did my King love me ? Did I earn his love ? 
Have we embraced as brothers would embrace ? 
Was I his Arm, his Thunder-bolt ? And now 
Must I, hag-ridden, pant as in a dream ? 
Or, like an eagle, whose strong wings press up 
Against a coiling serpent's folds, can I 
Strike but for mockery, and with restless beak 
Gore my own breast? — Ragozzi, thou art faithful? 

Chef Ragozzi. 
Here before Heaven I dedicate my faith 
To the royal line of Andreas. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Hark, Ragozzi 1 
Guilt is a timorous thing ere perpetration : 
Despair alone makes wicked men be bold. 
Come thou with me ! They have heard my voice in flight, 
Have faced round, terror-struck, and feared no longer 
The whistling javelins of their fell pursuers. 
Ha ! what is this ? 

[Black Flag displayed from the Tower of the Palace : 
Death-hell tolls, &c. 
Vengeance of Heaven ! He is dead. 

Chef Ragozzi. 
At length then 'tis announced. Alas ! I fear, 
That these black death-flags are but treason's signals. 

Raab Kiuprili. {looking forwards anxiously.) 
A prophecy too soon fulfilled ! See yonder ! 
O rank and ravenous wolves ! the death-bell echoes 
Still in the doleful air — and see ! they come. 

Chef Ragozzi. 
Precise and faithful in their villainy 
Even to the moment that the master traitor 
Had pre-ordained them. 



ZAPOLYA. $35 



Raab Kiuprili. 
Was it over-hasto, 
Or is it scorn, that in this race of treason 
Their guilt thus drops its mask, and blazons forth 
f heir infamous plot even to an idiot's sense. 

Chef Ragozzi. 

Doubtless they deem Heaven too usurped ! Heaven's justice 
Bought like themselves ! 

{During this conversation music is heard, first solemn and 
funereal, and then changing to spirited and triumphal. 
Being equal all in crime 
Do you press on, ye spotted parricides ! 
For the one sole pre-eminence yet doubtful, 
The prize of foremost impudence in guilt ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 

The bad man's cunning still prepares the way 
For its own outwitting. 1 applaud, Ragozzi ! 

[musing to himself— then 
Ragozzi ! I applaud, 
In thee, the virtuous hope that dares look onward, 
And keeps the life-spark warm of future action 
Beneath the cloak of patient sufferance. 
Act and appear, as time and prudence prompt thee : 
I shall not misconceive the part thou playest. 
Mine is an easier part — to brave the Usurper. 

[Enter a procession of Emerick's Adherents, Nobles, Chief- 
tains, and Soldiers, with -Music. They advance toward 
the front of the Stage. Kiuprili makes the signal for 
them to stop. — The Music ceases. 

Leader of the Procession. 
The Lord Kiuprili ! — Welcome from the camp. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Grave magistrates and chieftains of Illyria, 

In good time come ye hither, if ye come 

As loyal men with honorable purpose 

To mourn what can alone be mourned ; but chiefly 

To enforce the last commands of royal Andreas 

And shield the Queen, Zapolya : haply making 

The mother's joy light up the widow's tears. 



S36 COLERIDGE >$■ POEMS. 

Leader 

Our purpose demands speed. Grace our procession: 
A warrior best will greet a warlike king. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

This patent written by your lawful king, 
(Lo ! his own seal and signature attesting,) 
Appoints as guardians of his realm and offspring, 
The Queen, and the Prince Emerick, and myself. 

[ Voices of Live King Emerick ! an Emerick I an Emerick ! 
"What means this clamor ? Are these madmen's voices ? 
Or is some knot of riotous slanderers leagued 
To infamize the name of the king's brother 
With a lie black as Hell ? unmanly cruelty, 
Ingratitude, and most unnatural treason ? [Murmurs, 
What mean these murmurs ? Dare then any here 
Proclaim Prince Emerick a spotted traitor ? 
One that has taken from you your sworn faith, 
And given you in return a Judas' bribe, 
Infamy now, oppression in reversion, 
And Heaven's inevitable curse hereafter ? 

[Loud murmurs, followed by cries — Emerick I No Baby 
Prince ! No changeling ! 
Yet bear with me awhile ! Have I for this 
Bled for your safety, conquered for your honor ! 
Was it for this, Illyrians ! that I forded 
Your thaw-swoln torrents, when the shouldering ice 
Fought with a foe, and stained its jagged points 
With gore from wounds I felt not ? Did the blast 
Beat on this body, frost-and-famine-numbed, 
Till my hard flesh distinguished not itself 
Prom the insensate mail, its fellow- warrior ? 
And have I brought home with me Victory, 
And with her, hand in hand, firm-footed Peace, 
Her countenance twice lighted up with glory, 
As if I had charmed a goddess down from Heaven ? 
But these will flee abhorrent from the throne 
3f usurpation ! 

[Murmurs increase — and cries of Onward! onward! 
Have you then thrown off shame, 
And shall not a dear friend, a loyal subject, 
Throw off all fear ? I tell ye, the fair trophies 
Valiantly wrested from a valiant foe, 
Love's natural offerings to a rightful king, 
Will hang as ill on this usurping traitor, 



ZAPOLYA. S37 



This brother-blight; this Emerick, as robes 
Of gold plucked from the images of gods 
Upon a sacrilegious robber's back. 

{During the last four lines, enter Lord Casimir, with ex- 
pressions of anger and alarm. 

Casimir. 

Who is this factious insolent, that dares brand 
The elected King, our chosen Emerick ? 

[Starts — then approaching with timid respect. 
Mv Father ! 

Raab Kiuprili. (turning away.) 

Casimir ! He, he a traitor ! 
Too soon indeed, Ragozzi ! have I learnt it. [aside, 

Casimir. (with reverence.) 
My father and my lord ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 

I know thee not ! 

Leader. 

Yet the remembrancing did sound right filial. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

A holy name and words of natural duty 

Are blasted by a thankless traitor's utterance. 

Casimir. 

hear me, Sire ! not lightly have I sworn 

Homage to Emerick. Illyria's sceptre 

Demands a manly hand, a warrior's grasp. 

The queen Zapolya's self-expected offspring 

At least is doubtful : and of all our nobles, 

The king, inheriting his brother's heart, 

Hath honored us the most. Your rank, my lord ! 

Already eminent, is — all it can be — 

Confirmed : and me the king's grace hath appointed 

Chief of his council and the lord high steward. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
(Bought by a bribe ! ) I know thee now still less. 

Casimir. (struggling with his passion.) 
So much of Raab Kiuprili's blood flows here, i 



238 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

That no power, save that holy name of father, 
Could shield the man who so dishonored me. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

The son of Raab Kiuprili a bought bond-slave, 
Guilt's pander, treason's mouth-piece, a gay parrot, 
Schooled to shrill forth his feeder's usurped titles, 
And scream, Long live king Emerick ! 

Leaders. 

Ay, king Emerick t 
Stand back, my lord ! Lead us, or let us pass. 

Soldier. • 
Nay, let the general speak ! 

Soldiers. 
Hear him ! Hear him ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Hear me, 
Assembled lords and warriors of Illyria, 
Hear, and avenge me ! Twice ten years have I 
Stood in your presence, honored by the king, 
Beloved and trusted. Is there one among you, 
Accuses Raab Kiuprili of a bribe? 
Or one false whisper in his sovereign's ear? 
Who here dares charge me with an orphan's rights 
Outfaced, or widow's plea left undefended? 
And shall I now be branded by a traitor, 
A bought bribed wretch, who, being called my son, 
Doth libel a chaste matron's name, and plant 
TIensbane and aconite on a mother's grave ? 
The underling accomplice of a robber, 
That from a widow and a widow's offspring 
Would steal their heritage ? To God a rebel, 
And to the common father of his country 
A recreant ingrate ! 

Casimir. 

Sire ! your words grow dangerous. 
High-flown romantic fancies ill-beseem 
Your age and wisdom. 'Tis a statesman's virtue, 
To guard his country's safety by what means 
It best may be protected — come what will 
Of these monk's morals 1 



ZAPOLYA. 239 



Raab Kiuprili. {aside.) 

Ha ! the elder Brutus 
Made his soul iron, though his sons repented. 
They boasted not their baseness. [starts, and draws his sword 

Infamous changeling ! 
Recant this instant, and swear loyalty, 
And strict obedience to thy sovereign's will ; 
Or, by the spirit of departed Andreas, 

Thou diest 

[Chiefs, &c, rush to interpose; during the tumult ente? 
Emerick, alarmed. 

Emerick. 

Call out the guard ! Ragozzi ! seize the assassin. — 

Kiuprili ? Ha ! [with lowered voice, at the same time with one 

hand making signs to the guard to retire. 

Pass on, friends ! to the palace. 
[Music recommences. — The Procession passes into the Palace, 
— During which time Emerick and Kiuprili regard each 
other steadfastly. 

Emerick. 

What ? Raab Kiuprili ? What ? a father's sword 
Against his own son's breast ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 

'Twould best excuse him, 
Were he thy son, Prince Emerick. i" abjure him. 

Emerick. 

This is my thanks, then, that I have commenced 
A reign to which the free voice of the nobles 
Hath called me, and the people, by regards 
Of love and grace to Raab Kiuprili's house ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 
What right hadst thou, Prince Emerick, to bestow them ? 

Emerick. 
By what right dares Kiuprili question me ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 
By a right common to loyal subjects — 
To me a duty ! As the realm's co-regent 
Appointed by our sovereign's last free act, 
Writ by himself. — {Grasping the patent.) 



240 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Emerick. {with a contemptuous sneer.) 
Ay ! — Writ in a delirium ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 
I likewise ask, by whose authority 
The access to the sovereign was refused me ? 

Emerick. 
By whose authority dared the general leave 
His camp and army, like a fugitive ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 

A fugitive, who, with victory for his comrade, 
Ran, open-eyed, upon the face of death ! 
A fugitive, with no other fear, than bodements 
To be belated in a loyal purpose — 
At the command, Prince ! of my king and thine, 
Hither I came : and now again require 
Audience of Queen Zapolya ; and (the States 
Forthwith convened) that thou dost show at large, 
On what ground of defect thou'st dared annul 
This thy king's last and solemn act — hast dared 
Ascend the throne, of which the law had named, 
And conscience should have made thee, a protector. 

Emerick. 
A sovereign's ear ill brooks a subject's questioning! 
Yet for thy past well-doing — and because 
'Ti6 hard to erase at once the fond belief 
Long cherished, that Illyria had in thee 
No dreaming priest's slave, but a Roman lover 
Of her true weal and freedom — and for this, too, 
That, hoping to call forth to the broad day-light 
And fostering breeze of glory all deservings, 
i still had placed thee foremost. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Prince ! I listen. 

Emerick. 
Unwillingly I tell thee, that Zapolya, 
Maddened with grief, her erring hopes proved idle — 

Casimir. 
Sire ! speak the whole truth ! Say, her fraud's detected ! 



ZAPOLYA. 241 



Emerick. 
According to the sworn attests in council 

Of her physician 

Raab Kiuprili. {aside,) 
Yes ! the Jew, Barzoni 2 

Emerick. 
Under the imminent risk of death she lies, 
Or irrecoverable loss of reason, 
If known friend's face or voice renew the frenzy. 

Casimir. {to Kiuprili.) 
Trust me, my lord ! a woman's trick has duped you— 
Us too — but most of all, the sainted Andreas. 
Even for his own fair fame, his Grace prays hourly 
For her recovery, that (the States convened) 
She may take counsel of her friends. 

Emerick. 

Right, Casimir! 
Receive my pledge, lord general. It shall stand 
In her own will to appear and voice her claims ; 
Or (which in truth I hold the wiser course) 
With all the past passed by, as family quarrels, 
Let the Queen Dowager, with un blenched honors, 
Resume her state, our first Illyrian matron. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Prince Emerick ! you speak fairly, and your pledge too 
Is such, as well would suit an honest meaning. 

Casimir. 
My lord ! you scarce know half his Grace's goodness. 
The wealthy heiress, high-born fair Sarolta, 
Bred in the convent of our noble ladies, 
Her relative, the venerable abbess, 
Hath, at his Grace's urgence, wooed and won for me. 

Emerick. 
Long may the race, and long may that name flourish, 
Which your heroic deeds, brave chief, have rendered 
Dear and illustrious to all true Illyrians. 

Raab Kiuprili. {sternly.) 
The longest line, that ever tracing herald 
Or found or feigned, placed by a beggar's soul 

16 



242 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

» 

Hath but a mushroom's date in the comparison : 
And with the soul, the conscience is co-eval, 
Yea, the soul's essence. 

Emerick. 

Conscience, good my lord, 
Is but the pulse of reason. Is it conscience, 
That a free nation should be handed down, 
Like the dull clods beneath our feet, by chance 
And the blind law of lineage ? That whether infant, 
Or man matured, a wise man or an idiot, 
Hero or natural coward, shall have guidance 
£)f a free people's destiny, should fall out 
In the mere lottery of a reckless nature, 
Where few the prizes and the blanks are countless ? 
Or haply that a nation's fate should hang 
On the bald accident of a midwife's handling 
The unclosed sutures of an infant's skull? 

Casimir. 
What better claim can sovereign wish or need, 
Than the free voice of men who love their country ? 
Those chiefly who have fought for 't ? Who by right 
Claim for their monarch one, who having obeyed, 
So hath best learnt to govern : who, having suffered, 
Can feel for each brave sufferer and reward him ? 
Whence sprang the name of Emperor ? Was it not 
By nature's fiat ? In the storm of triumph, 
'Mid warriors' shouts, did her oracular voice 
Make itself heard : Let the commanding spirit 
Possess the station of command ! 

Raab Kiuprili 

Prince Emerick 
Your cause will prosper best in your own pleading. 

Emerick. (Aside to Casimir.) 

Ragozzi was thy school-mate — a bold spirit ! 
Bind him to us ! — Thy Father thaws apace ! [then aloud. 
Leave us awhile, my lord ! — Your friend, Ragozzi, 
Whom you have not yet seen since his return, 
Commands the guard to-day. 

[Casimir retires to the Guard-house ; and after a time 
appears before it with Chef Ragozzi. 
We are alone. 
What further pledge or proof desires Kiuprili ? 
Then, with your assent— 



ZAPOLYA. 243 



Raab Kiuprili. 

Mistake not for assent 
The unquiet silence of a stern Resolve 

Throttling the impatient voice. I have heard thee, Prince ! 
And I have watched thee, too ; but have small faith in 
A plausible tale told with a flitting eye. 

[Emerick turns as about to call for the Quard. 
In the next moment I am in thy power, 
In this thou art in mine. Stir but a step, 
Or make one sign — I swear by this good sword, 
Thou diest that instant. 

Emerick. 
Ha, ha ! — Well, Sir ! — Conclude your homily. 

Raab Kiuprili. (in a somewhat suppressed voice.} 
A tale which, whether true or false, comes guarded 
Against all means of proof, detects itself. 
The Queen mewed up — this too from anxious care 
And love brought forth of a sudden, a twin birth 
With thy discovery of her plot to rob thee 
Of a rightful throne ! — Mark how the scorpion, falsehood, 
Coils round in its perplexity, and fixes 
Its sting in its own head ? 

Emerick. 

Aye ! to the mark ! 

Raab Kiuprili. {aloud: he and Emerick standing ai 
equi-distance from the Palace and the Guard-House.) 
Hadst thou believed thine own tale, hadst thou fancied 
Thyself the rightful successor of Andreas, 
Wouldst thou have pilfered from our school-boys' themes 
These shallow sophisms of a popular choice ? 
What people ? How convened ? or, if convened, 
Must not the magic power that charms together 
Millions of men in council, needs have power 
To win or wield them ? Better, O far better, 
Shout forth thy titles to yon circling mountains, 
And with a thousand-fold reverberation 
Make the rocks flatter thee, and the volleying air, 
Unbribed, shout back to thee, King Emerick ! 
By wholesome laws to embank the sovereign power, 
To deepen by restraint, and by prevention 
Of lawless will to amass and guide the flood 
In its majestic channel, is man's task 
And the true patriot's glory ! In all else 
Men safelier trust to Heaven, than to themselves 



H4 COLERIDGE >S POEMS, 

When least themselves in the mad whirl of crowds 
Where folly is contagious, and too oft 
Even wise men leave their better sense at home 
To chide and wonder at them when returned. 

Emerick. (aloud.) 

Xs't thus, thou scoff 'st the people ? most of all, 
The soldiers, the defenders of the people ? 

Raab Kiuprili. (aloud.) 

most of all, most miserable nation, 

For whom the Imperial power, enormous bubble ! 

Is blown and kept aloft, or burst and shattered 

By the bribed breath of a lewd soldiery ! 

Chiefly of such, as from the frontiers far 

(Which is the noblest station of true warriors), 

In rank licentious idleness beleaguer 

City and Court, a venomed thorn i' the side 

Of virtuous kings, the tyrant's slave and tyrant, 

Still ravening for fresh largess ! But with such 

What title claim'st thou, save thy birth ? What merits 

Which many a liegeman may not plead as well, 

Brave though I grant thee ? If a life outlabored, 

Head, heart, and fortunate arm, in watch and war, 

For the land's fame and weal ; if large acquests, 

Made honest by the aggression of the foe, 

And whose best praise is, that they bring us safety ; 

If victory, doubly- wreathed, whose under-garland 

Of laurel-leaves looks greener and more sparkling 

Thro' the gray olive-branch ; if these, Prince Emerick 1 

Give the true title to the throne, not thou — 

No ! (let lllyria, let the infidel enemy 

Be judge and arbiter between us ! ) I, 

1 were the rightful sovereign ! — 

Emerick. 

I have faith 
That thou both think'st and hop'st it. Fair Zapolya, 
A provident lady — ■ 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Wretch beneath all answer I 
Emerick. 
Offers at once the rayal bed and throne ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 
To be a kingdom's bulwark, a king's glory, 



2AP0LYA. 245 



Yet loved by both, and trusted, and trust-worthy, 

Is more than to be king ; but see ! thy rage 

Fights with thy fear. I will relieve thee ! Ho ! [to the Guard. 

Emerick. 
Not for thy sword, but to entrap thee, ruffian ! 
Thus long I have listened. — Guard — ho ! from the Palace. 

[The Guard post from the Guard-house with Chef Ragozzi ai 
their head, and then a number from the Palace — Chef 
Ragozzi demands KiupriWs sword, and apprehends 
him. 

Casimir. 

agony ! {to Emerick.) Sire, hear me ! 

[to Kiuprili, who turns from him. 
Hear me, Father ! 
Emerick. 
Take in arrest that traitor and assassin ! 
Who pleads for his life, strikes at mine, his sovereign's. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

As the Co-regent of the Realm, I stand 
Amenable to none save to the States 
Met in due course of law. But ye are bond-slaves, 
Yet witness ye that before God and man 

1 here impeach Lord Emerick of foul treason, 
And on strong grounds attaint him with suspicion 
Of murder — 

Emerick. 
Hence with the madman ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Your Queen's murder, 
The Royal orphan's murder : and to the death 
Defy him, as a tyrant and usurper. 

[Hurried off by Ragozzi and the Guard 

Emerick. 
Ere twice the sun hath risen, by my sceptre 
This insolence shall be avenged. 

Casimir. 

O banish him ! 
This infamy will crush me. for my sake, 
Banish him, my liege Lord-! 



H^ COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Emerick. {scornfully.') 

What ? to the army ? 
Bo calm, young friend ! Naught shall be done in anger. 
The child o'erpowers the man. In this emergence 
I must take counsel for us both. Retire. 

[Exit Casimir in agitation, 

Emerick. (alone, looks at a Calendar.) 

The changeful planet, now in her decay, 

Dips down at midnight, to be seen no more. 

With her shall sink the enemies of Emerick, 

Cursed by the last look of the waning moon : 

And my bright destiny, with sharpened horns, 

Shall greet me fearless in the new-born crescent. [Exit* 

Scene changes to another mew, namely, the back of the Palace — a 
Wooded Park, and Mountains. — Enter Zapolya, with an Infant 
in Arms. 

Zapolya. 

Hush, dear one ! hush ! My trembling arm disturbs thee I 

Thou, the protector of the helpless ! Thou, 

The widow's husband and the orphan's father, 

Direct my steps ! Ah, whither ? O send down 

Thy angel to a houseless babe and mother, 

Driven forth into the cruel wilderness ! 

Hush, sweet one ! Thou art no Hagar's offspring : 
Thou art 

The rightful heir of an anointed king ! 

What sounds are those ? It is the vesper chaunt 

Of laboring men returning to their home ! 

Their queen has no home ! Hear me, heavenly Father ! 

And let this darkness — 

Be as the shadow of thy outspread wings 

To hide and shield us ! Start'st thou in thy slumbers ! 

Thou canst not dream of savage Emerick. Hush ! 

Betray not thy poor mother ! For if they seize thee 

I shall grow mad indeed, and they'll believe 

Thy wicked uncle's lie. Ha ! what ? A soldier ? 

[She starts back — and enter Chef Ragozzi. 

Chef Ragozzi. 
Sure Heaven befriends us. Well ! he hath escaped ! 
O rare tune of a tyrant's promises 
That can enchant the serpent treachery 
From forth its lurking hole in the heart. ' Ragozzi ! 



Z A POLY A. 



247 



brave Ragozzi ! Count ! Commander ! What not t ' 
And all this too for nothing ! a poor nothing ! 
Merely to play the underling in the murder 

Of my best friend Kiuprili ! His own son — monstrous ^ 

Tyrant ! I owe thee thanks, and in good hour 

Will I repay thee, for that thou thought'st me too 

A serviceable villain. Could I now 

But gain some sure intelligence of the Queen : 

Heaven bless and guard her ! 

Zapolya. (coming fearfully forward.) 
Art thou not Ragozzi ? 

Chef Ragozzi. 

The Queen ! Now then the miracle is full ! 

1 see Heaven's wisdom is an over-match 

For the devil's cunning. This way, madam, haste ! 

Zapolya. 
Stay ! Oh, no ! Forgive me if I wrong thee ! 
This is thy sovereign's child : Oh, pity us, 
And be not treacherous ! 



[Kneeling 



Chef Ragozzi. (raising her.) 
Madam ! for mercy's sake ! 

Zapolya. 
But tyrants have an hundred eyes and arms I 

Chef Ragozzi. 

Take courage, madam ! 'Twere too horrible 
(I cannot do't) to swear I'm not a monster ! — 
Scarce had I barred the door on Raab Kiuprili — 



Zapolya. 



Kiuprili! How? 



Chef Ragozzi. 

There is not time to tell it. — 
The tyrant called me to him, praised my zeal— 
(And be assured I overtopt his cunning 
And seemed right zealous.) But time wastes : In fine, 
Bids me despatch my trustiest friends, as couriers 
With letters to the army. The thought at once 
Flashed on me. I disguised my prisoner — 



248 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Zapolya. 
What, Raab Kiuprili ? 

Chef Ragozzi. 
Yes ! my noble general ! 
I sent him off, with Emerick's own pacquet, 
Haste, and post haste — Prepared to follow him — 

Zapolya. 
All, how ? Is it joy or fear ? My limbs seem sinking !— 

Chef Ragozzi. {supporting her.) 
leaven still befriends us. I have left my charger, 
•a. gentle beast and fleet, and my boy's mule, 
Jne that can shoot a precipice like a bird, 
Just where the wood begins to climb the mountains. 
The course we'll thread will mock the tyrant's guesses, 
Or scare the followers. Ere we reach the main road 
The Lord Kiuprili will have sent a troop 
To escort me. Oh, thrice happy when he finds 
The treasure which I convoy ! 

Zapolya. 

One brief moment, 
That praying for strength I may have strength. This babe, 
Heaven's eye is on it, and its innocence 
Is, as a prophet's prayer, strong and prevailing ! 
Through thee, dear babe, the inspiring thought posseted me, 
When the loud clamor rose, and all the palace 
Emptied itself — (They sought my life, Ragozzi ! ) 
Like a swift shadow gliding, I made way 
To the deserted chamber of my lord, — 

\thefc to tfo i7Ly%nt 
And thou didst kiss thy father's lifeless lips, 
And in thy helpless hand, sweet slumberer 
Still clasp'st the signet of thy royalty. 
As I removed the seal, the heavy arm 
Dropt from the couch aslant, and the stiff finger 
Seemed pointing at my feet. Provident Heaven! 
Lo, I was standing on the secret door, 
Which, through a long descent where all sound peylshe* 

Led out beyond the palace. Well I knew it 

But Andreas framed it not ! He was no tyrant ! 

Chef Ragozzi. 
Haste, madam : let me take this precious burden ! 

[He kneels as he takes the child* 



Zapolya. 
Take him ! And if we be pursued, I charge thee, 
Flee thou and leave me ! Flee and save thy king ! 

[Then as going off she looks back on the palace 
Thou tyrant's den, be called no more a palace ! 
The orphan's angel at the throne of heaven' 
Stands up against thee, and there hover o'er thee 
A (Queen's, a Mother's, and a Widow's curse. 
Henceforth a dragon's haunt, fear and suspicion 
Stand sentry at thy portals ! Faith and honor, 
Driven from the throne, shall leave the attainted nation : 
And, for the iniquity that houses in thee, 
False glory, thirst of blood, and lust of rapine 
(Faithful conjunction of malignant planets) 
Shall shoot their blastments on the land. The fathers 
Henceforth shall have no joy in their young men, 
And when they cry, Lo ! a male child is born! 
The mother shall make answer with a groan. 
For bloody usurpation, like a vulture, 
Shall clog its beak within Illyria's heart. 
Remorseless Siaves of a remorseless tyrant, 
They shall be mocked with sounds of liberty, 
And liberty shall be proclaimed alone 
To thee, O Fire! O Pestilence! O Sword! 
Till vengeance hath her fill. — And thou, snatched hence, 
{Again to the infant.) Poor friendless fugitive ! with mother's 

wailing, 
Offspring of Royal Andreas, Shalt return 
With trump and timbrel clang, and popular shout, 
In triumph to the palace of thy fathers I [Exeunt 



*5° COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 

s , 



PART II. 

THE SEQUEL, 

ENTITLED 

♦THE USURPER'S FATE/ 

1817. 



ADDITIONAL CHARACTERS. 

Old Bathory . . . . A Mountaineer. 

Bethlen Bathory . . The young Prince Andreas, supposed son of Old Bathory. 

Lord Rudolph . . . . A Courtier, but friend to the Queen's party. 

Laska Steward to Casimir. betrothed to Glycine. 

Pestalutz An Assassin, in Emerick's employ. 

W&amtn. 

Lady Sarolta . . . . Wife of Lord Casimir. 

Glycine Orphan daughter of Chef Ragozzi. 



Between the flight of the Queen, and the civil war which immediately followed, 
and in which Emerick remained the victor, a space of twenty years is supposed to have 
elapsed. 



USURPATION ENDED; 

OR, 

SHE COMES AGAIN. 



ACT I.— SCENE I. 

A Mountainous Country. Bathory's Dwelling at the end of the 
Stage. Enter Lady Sarolta and Glycine. 

Glycine. 
Well then ! Our round of charity is finished. 
Rest, Madam ! You breathe quick. 



ZAPOLYA. 251 



SAROLTA. 
What, tired, Glycine 

No delicate court-dame, but a mountaineer 
By choice no less than birth, I gladly use 
The good strength nature gave me. 

Glycine. 



That last cottage 



Is built as if an eagle or a raven 
Had chosen it for her nest. 

Sarolta. 

So many are 
The sufferings which no human aid can reach, 
It needs must be a duty doubly sweet 
To heal the few we can. Well ! let us rest. 

Glycine. 

There? [Pointing to Bathory's dwelling. Sarolta answering* 

points to where she then stands. 

Sarolta. 
Here ! For on this spot Lord Casimir 
Took his last leave. On yonder mountain-ridge 
I lost the misty image which so long 
Lingered, or seemed at least to linger on it. 

Glycine. 
And what if even now, on that same ridge, 
A speck should rise, and still enlarging, lengthening, 
As it clomb downwards, shape itself at last 
To a numerous cavalcade, and spurring foremost, 
Who but Sarolta's own dear lord returned 
From his high embassy ? 

Sarolta. 

Thou hast hit my thought ! 
All the long day, from yester-morn to evening, 
The restless hope fluttered about my heart. 
we are querulous creatures ! Little less 
Than all things can suffice to make us happy ; 
And little more than nothing is enough 
To discontent us. — Were he come, then should I 
Repine he had not arrived just one day earlier 
To keep his birth-day here, in his own birth-place. 

Glycine. 
But our best sports belike, and gay processions, 
Would to my lord have seemed but work-day sights 
Compared with those the royal court affords. 



252 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Sarolta. 
I have small wish to see them. A spring morning 
With its wild gladsome minstrelsy of birds, 
And its bright jewelry of flowers and dew-drops 
(Each orbed drop an orb of glory in it), 
Would put them all in eclipse. This sweet retirement 
Lord Casimir's wish alone would have made sacred; 
But, in good truth, his loving jealousy 
Bid but command what I had else entreated. 

Glycine. 
And yet had I been born Lady Sarolta, 
Been wedded to the noblest of the realm, 
So beautiful besides, and yet so stately 

Sarolta. 
Hush ! Innocent flatterer ! 

Glycine. 

Nay ! to my poor fancy 
The royal court would seem an earthly heaven, 
Made for such stars to shine in, and be gracious. 

Sarolta. 
So doth the ignorant distance still delude us ! 
Thy fancied heaven, dear girl, like that above thee, 
In its mere self a cold, drear, colorless void, 
Seen from below and in the large, becomes 
The bright blue ether, and the seat of gods ! 
Well ! bat this broil that scared you from the dance? 
And was not Laska there : he, your betrothed ? 

Glycine. 
Yes, madam ! he was there. So was the maypole, 
For we danced round it. 

Sarolta. 
Ah, Glycine ! why, 
Why did you then betroth yourself ? 

Glycine. 

Because 
My own dear *ady wished it ! 'twas you asked me I 

Sarolta. 
Yes, at my lord's request, but never wished, 
My poor affectionate girl, to see thee wretched. 
Thou knowest not yet the duties of a wife, 



ZAPOLYA. 253 



Glycine. 
Oh, yes ! It is a wife's chief duty, madam ! 
To stand in awe of her husband, and obey him, 
And, I am sure, I never shall see Laska 
But I shall tremble. 

Sarolta. 
Not with fear, I think, 
For you still mock him. Bring a seat from the cottage. 

[Exit Glycine into the cottage, Sarolta continues her speech 
looking after her. 
Something above thy rank there hangs about thee, 
And in thy countenance, thy voice, and motion, 
Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine, 
A fine and feminine grace, that makes me feel 
More as a mother than a mistress to thee ! 
Thou art a soldier's orphan ! that — the courage, 
Which, rising in thine eye, seems oft to give 
A new soul to its gentleness, doth prove thee ! 
Thou art sprung too of no ignoble blood, 
Or there's no faith in instinct ! 

[Angry voices and clamor within, re-enter Glycine* 
Glycine. 
Oh, madam ! there's a party of your servants, 
And my lord's steward. Laska, at their head, 
Have come to search for old Bathory's son, 
Bethlen, that brave young man ! 'twas he, my iady, 
That took our parts, and beat off the intruders, 
And, in mere spite and malice, now they charge him 
With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. 
Pray don't believe them, madam ! This way ! This way ! 
Lady Sarolta's here. [calling withvut* 

Sarolta. 
Be calm, Glycine. 
Enter Laska and Servants with Old Bathory. 
Laska. (to Bathory.) 
We have no concern with you ! What needs your presence ? 

Old Bathory. 
What ! Do you think I'll suffer my brave boy 
To be slandered by a set of coward-ruffians, 
And leave it to their malice, — yes, mere malice ! 
To tell its own tale ? 

[Laska and servants bow to Lady Smrolta* 



254 COLERIDGE h S POEMS. 

• — — — — — -~mmm—m* 

Sarolta. 

Laska ! What may this mean ? 
Laska. (pompously, as commencing a set speech.) 
Madam ! and may it please your ladyship ! 
This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory, 
Stands charged , on weighty evidence, that he, 
On yester-eve, being his lordship's birth-day, 
Did traitorously defame Lord Casimir : 
The lord high steward of the realm, moreover— 

Sarolta. 
Be brief ! We know his titles ! 

Laska. 

And moreover 
Raved like a traitor at our liege King Emerick. 
And furthermore, said witnesses make oath, 
Led on the assault upon his lordship's servants ; 
Yea, insolently tore, from this, your huntsman, 
His badge of livery of your noble house, 
And trampled it in scorn. 

Sarolta. (to the servants who offer to speak.) 

You have had your spokesman! 
Where is the young man thus accused ? 

Old Bathory. 

I know not : 
But if no ill betide him on the mountains, 
lie will not long be absent ! 

Sarolta. 

Thou art his father ? 
Old Bathory. 
None ever with more reason prized a son ; 
Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. 
But more than one, now in my lady's presence, 
Witnessed the affray, besides these men of malice : 
Aiiid if I swerve from truth 

Glycine. 

Yes ! good old man ! 
My lady ! pray believe him ! 

Sarolta. 
Hush, Glycine ! 
Be silent, I command you. [then to Bathory* 

Speak ! we hear you ! 



ZAPOLYA. ^55 



Old Bathory. 
My tale is brief. During our festive dance, 
Your servants, the accusers of my son, 
Offered gross insults, in unmanly sort, 
To our village maidens. He (could he do less?) 
Rose in defence of outraged modesty, 
And so persuasive did his cudgel prove 
(Your hectoring sparks so over-brave to women 
Are always cowards), that they soon took flight, 
And now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters, 
Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words 
Which their own threats provoked. 

Sarolta. 

Old man ! you talk 
Too bluntly ! Did your son owe no respect 
To the livery of our house ? 

Old Bathory. 

Even such respect 
As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf 
That hath began to worry the poor lambs ! 

Laska. 
Oid insolent ruffian I 

Glycine. 
Pardon ! pardon, madam t 
I saw the whole affray. The good old man 
Means no offence, sweet lady ! — You, yourself, 
Laska ! know well, that these men were the ruffians ! 
Shame on you ! 

Sarolta. (speaks with affected anger.) 
What ! Glycine ? Go, retire ! 

[Exit Glycine mournfully 
Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself, 
Or better still belike the maidens' parents, 
Might have complained to us. Was ever access 
Denied you ? Or free audience ? Or are we 
Weak and unfit to punish our own servants ? 

Old Bathory. 
So then ! So then ! Heaven grant an old man patience I 
And must the gardener leave his seedling plants, 
Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, 
While he goes ask their master, if perchance 
His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage ? 



256 COLERIDGE VS POEMS. 



Laska. 
Ho ! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence ! 
I will report her further will ! 

Sarolta. 
Wait, then, 
Till thou hast learnt it ! Fervent good old man ! 
Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on 
A face of sternness, alien to my meaning ! 

[then speaks to the servants 
Hence ! leave my presence ! and you, Laska ! mark me I 
Those rioters are no longer of my household ! 
If we but shake a dew-drop from a rose 
In vain would we replace it, and as vainly 
Restore the tear of wounded modesty 
To a maiden's eye familiarized to licence. — 
But these men, Laska — 

Laska. (aside.) 
Yes, now 'tis coming. 

Sarolta. 
Brutal aggressors first, then baffled dastards, 
That they have sought to piece out their revenge 
With a tale of words lured from the lips of anger 
Stamps them most dangerous ; and till I want 
Fit means for wicked ends, we shall not need 
Their services. Discharge them ! You, Bathory ! 
Are henceforth of my household ! I shall place you 
Near my own person. When your son returns 
Present him to us ! • 

Old Bathory. 

Ha ! what strangers * here ! 
What business have they in an old man's eye ? 
Your goodness, lady — and it came so sudden — 
I cannot — must not— let you be deceived. 

I have yet another tale, but [then to Sarolta aside, not for 

all ears ! 

Sarolta. 
I oft have passed your cottage, and still praised 
Its beauty, and that trim orchard-plot, whose blossoms 
The gusts of April showered aslant its thatch. 
Come, yow shall show it me ! And, while you bid it 
Farewell, be not ashamed that I should witness 



* Refers to the tear, which he feels .starting in his eye. The following line wasbofr 
rowed unconsciously from Mr. Wordsworth's Excursion. 



ZAPOLYA. 257 



The oil of gladness glittering on the water 
Of an ebbing grief. 

[Bathory bowing, shows her into his cottage. 
Laska. {alone.) 
Vexation ! baffled ! .schooled ! 
Ho ! Laska ! wake ! why ? what can all this mean ? 
She sent away that cockatrice in anger ! 
Oh, the false witch ! It is too plain, she loves him. 
And now, the old man near my lady's person, 
She'll see this Bethlen hourly ! 

[Laska flings himself into the seat. Glycine peeps in 
timidly. 

Glycine. 

Laska ! Laska 1 



Is my lady gone ? 



Is he returned ? 



Laska. {surlily.) 
Gone. 

Glycine. 
Have you yet seen him ? 



[Laska starts up from his seai 
Has the seat stung you, Laska ? 

Laska. 
No, serpent ! no * 'tis you that sting me ; you I 
What ? you would cling to him again ! 

Glycine. 

Whom ? 
Laska. 

Bethlen ! Bethlen 
Yes ; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him ! 
Ha ! you forget the scene of yesterday ! 
Mute ere he came, but then — Out on your screams, 
And your pretended fears ! 

Glycine. 

Your fears, at least, 
Were real, Laska t or your trembling limbs 
And white cheeks played the hypocrites most vilely J 

Laska - 
I fear ! whom ? What ? 

Glycine. 
I know what i" should fear, 
Were T in Laska's place. 

U 



2$% COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Laska. 
What? 
Glycine. 
My own conscience, 
For having fed my jealousy and envy 
With a plot, made out of other men's revenges, 
Against a brave and innocent young man's life ! 
Yet, yet, pray tell me ! 

Laska. {malignantly.) 
You will know too soon. 
Glycine. 
Would I could find my lady ! though she chid me — 
Yet this suspense— [going. 

Laska. 

Stop ! stop ! one question only — 
1 am quite calm 

Glycine. 
Ay, as the old song says, 
Calm as" a tiger, valiant as a dove. 
Kay, now, I have marred the verse : well ! this one question— 

Laska. 

Are you not bound to me by your own promise ? 
And is it not as plain — 

Glycine. 

Halt ! that's two questions. 
Laska. 
Pshaw ! Is it not as plain as impudence, 
That you're in love with this young swaggering beggar, 
Bethlen Bathory ? When he was accused, 
Why pressed you forward ? Why did you defend him ? 

Glycine. 
Question meet question : that's a woman's privilege. 
Why, Laska, did you urge Lord Casimir 
To make my lady force that promise from me? 

Laska. 
So then, you say, Lady Sarolta forced you ? 

Glycine. 
Could I look up to her dear countenance, 
And say her nay ? As far back as I wot of 
All her commands were gracious, sweet requests. 



Z A POLY A 259 



A 



How could it be then, but that her requests 
Must needs have sounded to me as commands ? 
And as for love, had I a score of loves, 
I'd keep them all for my dear, kind, good mistress. 

Laska. 
Not one for Bethlen ? 

Glycine. 
Oh ! that's a different thing. 
To be sure, he's brave and handsome, and so pious 
To his good old father. But for loving him — 
Nay, there, indeed, you are mistaken, Laska 1 
Poor youth ! I rather think I grieve for him ; 
For I sigh so deeply Avhen I think of him ! 
And if I see him, the tears come in my eyes, 
And my heart beats ; and all because I dreamt 
That the war-wolf* had gored him as he hunted 
In the haunted forest ' 

Laska. 
You dare own all this ? 
Your lady will not warrant promise-breach. 
Mine, pampered Miss ! you shall be ; and I'll make you 
Grieve for him with a vengeance. Odd's, my fingers 
Tingle already ! [makes threatening signs. 

Glycine, {aside.) 
Ha ! Bethlen coming this way ! 
[Glycine then cries out as if afraid of being oeaten. 
Oh, save me ! save me ! Pray don't kill me, Laska ! 
Enter Bethlen in an Hunting Dress. 
Bethlen. 
What, beat a woman ! 

Laska. (to Glycine., 
O you cockatrice ! 
Bethlen. 
Unmanly dastard, hold ! 

Laska. (pompously.) 

Do you chance to know 
Who— I— am, Sir ?— ('Sdeath ! how black he looks !) 

Bethlen. 
I have started many strange beasts in my time, 
But none less like a man, than this before me 
That lifts his hand against a timid female. 

* For the best account of the War-wolf, or Lycanthropun, gee Dravton's Mooncalf, 
Chalmers' English Poets, Vol, iy., p, 13q. 



^b COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Laska. 

Bold youth ! she's mine. 

Glycine. 
No, not my master yet, 
But only is to be ; and all, because 
Two years ago my lady asked me, and 
I promised her, not him ; and if she'll let me. 
I'll hate you, my lord's steward. 

Bethlen. 

Hush, Glycine! 

Glycine. 
Yes, I do, Bethlen ; for lie just now brought 
False witnesses to swear away your life: 
Your life, and old Bathory's too. 

Bethlen. 

Bathory's ! 
Where is my father? Answer, or — —Ha ! gone ! 

[Laska during this time slinks off the Stage, using threat 
ening gestures to Glycine. 

Glycine. 
Oh, heed not him ! I saw you pressing onward, 
And did but feign alarm. Dear gallant youth, 
It is your life they seek ! 

Bethlen. 
My life? 

Glycine. 

Alas, 
Lady Sarolta even — 

Bethlen. 
She does not know me ! 

Glycine. 
Oh that she did ! she could not then have spoken 
With such stern countenance. But though she spurn me, 
I will kneel, Bethlen — 

Bethlen. 
Not for me, Glycine ! 
What have I done ? or whom have 1 offended ? 

Glycine. 
Hash words, 'tis said, and treasonous of the king: 

[Bethlen mutters to himself indignantly. 



ZAPOLYA. 261 



Glycine, {aside,) 
So looks the statue, in our hall, o'the god, 
The shaft just flown that killed the serpent ! 

Bethlen. {muttering aside.) 

King' 
Glycine. 
Ah, often have I wished you were a king, 
You would protect the helpless everywhere, 
As you did us. And I, too, should not then 
Grieve for you, Bethlen, as I do ; nor have 
The tears come in my eyes ; nor dream bad dreams 
That you were killed in the forest ; and then Laska 
Would have no right to rail at me, nor say 
(Yes, the base man, he says) that I — I love you. 

Bethlen. 
Pretty Glycine ! wert thou not betrothed — 
But in good truth I know not what I speak. 
This luckless morning I have been so haunted 
With my own fancies, starting up like omens, 
That I feel like one, who waking from a dream 
Both asks and answers wildly. — But Bathory ? 

Glycine. 
Hist ! 'tis my lady's step ! She must not see you ! 

[Bethlen retires. 
Enter from, the Cottage Sarolta and Bathory. 

Sarolta. 
Go, seek your son ! I need not add be speedy. 
You here, Glycine ! [Exit Bathonj. 

Glycine. 
Pardon, pardon Madam ! 
If you but saw the old man's son, you would not, 
You could not have him harmed. 

Sarolta. 

Be calm, Glycine ! 

Glycine. 
No, I shall break my heart. [Sobbing. 

Sarolta. {taking her hand.) 
Ha ! is it so ? 
O strange and hidden power of sympathy, 
That of like fates, 



262 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Dost make blind instincts, orphan's heart to orphan's 
Drawing by dim disquiet ! 

Glycine. 
Old Bathory— 

Sarolta. 
Seeks his brave son. Come, wipe away thy tears. 
Yes, in good truth, Glycine, this same Bethlen 
Seems a most noble and deserving youth. 

Glycine. 
My lady does not mock me ? 

Sarolta. 



Has he not told thee ? 



Where is Laska ? 



Glycine. 
Nothing. In his fear- 
Anger, 1 mean — stole off — I am so fluttered — 
Left me abruptly — 

Sarolta 
His shame excuses him ! 
He is somewhat hardly tasked ; and in discharging 
Mis own tools, cons a lesson for himself. 
Bathory and the youth henceforward live 
Safe in my lord's protection. 

Glycine. 

The saints bless you ! 
Shame on my graceless heart ! How dared I fear 
Lady Sarolta could be cruel ? 

Sarolta. 
Come, 
Be yourself, girl ! 

Glycine. 
0, 'tis so full here I [at her heart. 

And now it cannot harm him if I tell you, 
That the old man's son — 

Sarolta, 

Is not that old man's son I 
A destiny, not unlike thine own, is his, 
For all I know of thee is, that thou art 
A soldier's orphan : left when rage intestine 
Shook and engulfed the pillars of Illyria. 



ZAPOL YA. 263 



This other fragment, thrown back by that same earthquake, 
Yin's, so mysteriously inscribed by nature, 
Perchance may piece out and interpret thine. 
Command thyself ! Be secret ! His true father — 
Hear'st thou ? 

Glycine, {eagerly.) 
O tell— 
Bethlen. {who had overheard the last few words, now rushes out.) 

Yes, tell me, Shape from heaven ! 
Who is my father ? 

Sarolta. [gazing with surprise.) 
Thine ? Thy father ? Rise ! 
Glycine. 
Alas ! He hath alarmed you, my dear lady ! 

Sarolta. 
His countenance, not his act ! 

Glycine. 

Rise, Bethlen I rise ! 

Bethlen. 
No ; kneel thou too ! and with thy orphan's tongue 
Plead for me ! I am rooted to the earth 
And have no power to rise ! Give me a father ! 
There is a prayer in those uplifted eyes 
That seeks high Heaven ! But I will overtake it, 
And bring it back, and make it plead for me 
In thine own heart ! Speak ! Speak ! Restore to me 
A name in the world ! 

Sarolta. 
By that blest Heaven I gazed at 5 
I know not who thou art. And if I knew, 
Dared I — But rise ! 

Bethlen. 
Blest spirits of my parents, 
Ye hover o'er me now 1 Ye shine upon me ! 
And like a flower that coils forth from a ruin, 
I feei and seek the light, I cannot see ! 

Sarolta. 
Thou see'st yon dim spot on the mountain's ridge, 
But what it is thou know'st not. Even such 
Is all I know of thee — haply, brave youth, 
Is all Fate makes it safe for thee to know ! 



Bethlen. 
Safe ? Safe ? let me then inherit danger, 
And it shall be my birth right ! 

Sarolta. (aside.) 

That look again ! — 
The wood which first incloses, and then skirts 
The highest track that leads across the mountains — 
Thou know'st it, Bethlen ? 

Bethlen. 

Lady, 'twas my wont 
To roam there in my childhood oft alone . 
And mutter to myself the name of father. 
For still Bathory (why, till now I guessed not) 
Would never hear it from my lips, but sighing 
Gazed upward. Yet of late an idle terror 

Glycine. 
Madam, that wood is haunted by the war- wolves, 
Vampires, and monstrous 

Sarolta. (with a smile.) 

Moon-calves, credulous girl \ 
Haply some o'ergrown savage of the forest 
Hath his lair there, and fear hath framed the rest. 

[Then speaking again to Bethlen 
After that last great battle (O young man ! 
Thou wakest anew my life's sole anguish), that 
Which fixed Lord Emerick on his throne, Bathory, 
Led by a cry, far inward from the track, 
In the hollow of an oak, as in a nest, 
Did find thee, Bethlen, then a helpless babe. 
The robe, that wrapt thee, was a widow's mantle. 

Bethlen. 
An infant's weakness doth relax my frame. 

say — I fear to ask 

Sarolta. 

And I to tell thee. 
Bethlen. 
Strike ! O strike quickly ■ See, I do not shrink. 

[striking his breast 

1 am stone, cold stone. 

Sarolta. 

Hid in a brake hard by, 
Scarce by both palms supported from the earth, 



Z A POLY A. ' 205 



A wounded lady lay, whose life fast waning 

Seemed to survive itself in her fixed eyes, 

That strained towards the babe. At length one arm 

Painfully from her own weight disengaging, 

She pointed first to heaven, then from her bosoj 

Drew forth a golden casket. Thus entreated, 

riiy foster-father took thee in his arms, 

And kneeling spake : If aught of this world's comfort 

Can reach thy heart, receive a poor man's troth, 

That at my life's risk I will save thy child ! 

Her countenance worked, as one that seemed preparing 

A loud voice, but it died upon her lips 

In a faint whisper, ' Fly ! Save him ! Hide — hide all ! ' 

Bethlen. 
And did he leave her? What, had I a mother? 
And left her bleeding, dying ? Bought I vile life 
With the desertion of a dying mother ? 
Oh agony ! 

Glycine. 
Alas ! thou art bewildered. 
And dost forget thou wert a helpless infant I 

Bethlen. 
What else can I remember, but a mother 
Mangled and left to perish? 

Sarolta. 

Hush, Glycine! 
It is the ground-swell of a teeming instinct: 
Let it but lift itself to air and sunshine, 
And it will find a mirror in the waters, 
It now makes boil above it. Check him not! 

Bethlen. 
O that I were diffused among the waters 
That pierce into the secret depths of earth, 
And find their way in darkness ! Would that I 
Could spread myself upon the homeless winds ! 
And I would seek her ! for she is not dead ! 
She cannot die ! O pardon, gracious lady ! 
You were about to say, that he returned — 

Sarolta. 
Deep Love, the godlike in us, still believes 
Its objects as immortal as itself ! 



266 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Bethlen. 
And found her still — 

Sarolta. 
Alas ! he did return, 
He left no spot unsearched in all the forest, 
But she (I trust me by some friendly hand) 
Had been borne off. 

BETHLEN. 

O whither ? 

Glycine. 

Dearest Bethlen I 
I would that you could weep like me ! O do not 
Gaze so upon the air ! 

Sarolta. {continuing the story.) 
While he was absent 
A friendly troop, 'tis certain, scoured the wood, 
Hotly pursued indeed by Emerick. 

Bethlen. 

Emerick. 
Oh Hell ! 

Glycine, (to silence him.) 
Bethlen ! 

Bethlen. 
Hist ! I'll curse him in a whisper! 
This gracious lady must hear blessings only 
She hath not yet the glory round her head. 
Nor those strong eagle wings, which made swift way 
To that appointed place, which I must seek : 
Or else she were my mother ! 

Sarolta. 

Noble youth I 
From me fear nothing ! Long time have I owed 
Offerings of expiation for misdeeds 
Long passed that weigh me down, though innocent ! 
Thy foster-father hid the secret from thee, 
For he perceived thy thoughts, as they expanded, 
Proud, restless, and ill-sorting with thy state ! 
Vain Avas his care ! Thou'st made thyself suspected 
E'en where Suspicion reigns, and asks no proof 
But its own fears ! Great Nature hath endowed thee 
With her best gifts ! From me thou shalt receive 



All honorable aidance ! But haste hence ! 

Travel will ripen thee, and enterprise 

Beseems thy years ! Be thou henceforth my soldier ! 

And whatsoe'er betide thee, still believe 

That in each noble deed, achieved or suffered, 

Thou solvest best the riddle of thy birth ! 

And may the light that streams from thine own honor 

Guide thee to that thou seekest ! 

Glycine. 

Must he eave us ? 

Bethlen. 
And for such goodness can I return nothing, 
But some hot te,ars that sting mine eyes ? Some sighs 
That if not breathed would swell my heart to stifling? 
May Heaven and thine own virtues, high-born lady, 
Be as a shield of fire, far, far aloof , 
To scare all evil from thee ! Yet if, fate 
Hath destined thee one doubtful hour of danger, 
From the uttermost region of the earth, methinks 
Swift as a spirit invoked, I should be with thee ! 
And then, perchance, I might have power to unbosoi 
These thanks that struggle here. Eyes fair as thine 
Have gazed on me with tears of love and anguish, 
Which these eyes saw not, or beheld unconscious ; 
And tones of anxious fondness, passionate prayers, 
Have been talked to me ! But this tongue ne'er soothed 
A mother's ear, lisping a mother's name ? 
O, at how dear a price have I been loved, 
And no love could return ! One boon then, lady ! 
Where'er thou bid'st, I go thy faithful soldier, 
But first must trace the spot where she lay bleedin 
Who gave me life. No more shall beast of ravine 

ront with baser spoil that sacred forest ! 
Or if avengers more than human haunt there, 
Take they what shape they list, savage or heavenly, 
They shall make answer to me, though my heart's blood 
Should be the spell to bind them. Blood calls for blood ! 

[Exit Bethlen 

Sarolta. 
Ah ! it was this I feared. To ward off this 
Did I withhold from him that old Bathory 
Returning hid beneath the self-same oak, 
Where the babe lay, the mantle, and some jewel 
Bound on his infant arm. 



268 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Glycine. 

Oh, let me fly 
And stop him ! Mangled limbs do there lie scattered 
Till the lured eagle bears them to her nest. 
And voices have been heard ! And there the plant grows 
That being eaten gives the inhuman wizard 
Power to put on the fell Hyama's shape. 

Sarolta. 

What idle tongue hath bewitched thee, Glycine ? 
I hoped that thou hadst learnt a nobler faith. 

Glycine. 
O chide me not, dear lady ; question Laska, 
Or the old man. 

Sarolta. 

Forgive me, I spake harshly. 
It is indeed a mighty sorcery 

That doth enthral thy young heart, my poor girl, 
And what hath Laska told thee ? 

Glycine. 

Three days past 
A courier from the king did cross that wood ; 
A wilful man, that armed himself on purpose : 
And never hath been heard of from that time ! 

[Sound of horns without, 
Sarolta. 
Hark ! dost thou hear it ? 

Glycine. 

'Tis the sound of horns 1 
Our huntsmen are not out ! 

Sarolta. 
Lord Casimir 
Would net come thus [Horns again. 

Glycine. 
Still louder ! 

Sarolta. 

Haste we hence I 
For I believe in part thy tale of terror ! 



ZAPOLYA. 2bQ 



But, trust me, 'tis the inner man transformed : 

Beasts in the shape of men are worse than war-wolves. 

[Sarolta and Glycine exeunt. Trumpets. &-<■., louder. Enter 
Emerick, Lord Rudolph, Laska, and Huntsmen and 
Attendants. 

Rudolph. 
A. gallant chace, sire. 

Emerick. 
Ay, but this new quarry 
That we last started seems worth all the rest. [Then to Laska.* 
And you— excuse me — what's your name? 

Laska. 

Whatever 
Your Majesty may please. 

Emertck. 
Nay, that's too late, man. 
Say, what thy mother and thy godfather 
Were pleased to call thee. 

• ' Laska. 

Laska, my liege sovereign. 

Emerick. 
Well, my liege subject Laska ! And you are 
Lord Casimir's steward ? 

Laska. 

And your Majesty's creature. 

Emerick. 
Two gentle dames made off at our approach. 
Which was your lady ? 

Laska. 
My liege lord, the taller. 
The other, please your Grace, is her poor handmaid, 
Long since betrothed to me. But the maid's fro ward — 
Yet would your Grace but speak — 

Emerick. 

Hum, master steward J 
I am honored with this sudden confidence. 
Lead on. [to Laska, then to Rudolph 

Lord Rudolph, you'll announce our coining. 
Greet fair Sarolta from me, and entreat her 
To be our gentle hostess. Mark, you add 



2*rO ' COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

How much we grieve, that business of the state 
Hath forced us to delay her lord's return. 

Lord Rudolph, {aside.) 
Lewd, ingrate tyrant ! Yes, I will announce thee, 

Emerick. 
Now onward all. [Exeunt attendants, 

Emerick solus. 
A fair one by my faith ! 
If her face rival but her gait and stature, 
My good friend Casimir had his reasons too, 
' Her tender health, he?- vow of strict retirement, 
Made early in the convent — His word pledged — * 
All fictions, all ! fictions of jealousy. 
Well! if the mountain move not to the prophet, 
The prophet must to the mountain ! In this Laska 
There's somewhat of the knave mixed up with dolt. 
Through the transparence of the fool, methought, 
1 saw (as I could lay my finger on it) 
The crocodile's eye, that peered up from the bottom. 
This knave may do us service. Hot ambition 
Won me the husband. Now let vanity 
And the resentment for a forced seclusion 
Decoy the wife ! Let him be deemed the aggressor 
Whose cunning and distrust began the game I [Exit. 



ACT II.— SCENE I. 

A savage wood. At one side a cavern, overhung with ivy. Zafo- 
lya and Raab Kiuprili discovered : both, but especially the 
latter, in rude and savage garments. 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Heard you then aught while I was slumbering ? 

Zapolya. 

Nothing. 
Only your face became convulsed. We miserable ! 
Is Heaven's last mercy fled ? Is sleep grown treacherous ? 
Raab Kiuprili. 

for a sleep, for sleep itself to rest in ! 

1 dreamt I had met with food beneath a tree 
And I was seeking you, when all at once 
My feet became entangled in a net : 



ZAPOLYA. * 271 



Still more entangled as in rage I tore it, 

At length I freed myself, had sight of you, 

But as I hastened eagerly, again 

I found my frame encumbered : a huge serpent 

Twined round my chest, but tightest round my throat. 

Zapolya. 
Alas ! 'twas lack of food : for hunger chokes ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 
And now I saw you by a shrivelled child 
Strangely pursued. You did not fly, yet neither 
Touched you the ground methought, but close above it 
Did seem to shoot yourself along the air, 
And as you passed me turned your face and shrieked. 

Zapolya. 
I did in truth send forth a feeble shriek, 
Scarce knowing Avhy. Perhaps the mocked sense craved 
To hear the scream, which you but seemed to utter. 
For your whole face looked like a mask of torture ! 
Yet a child's image doth indeed pursue me 
Shrivelled with toil and penury ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Nay ! what ails you ? 
Zafolya. 
A wondrous faintness there comes stealing o'er me. 
Is it Death's lengthening shadow, who comes onward, 
Life's setting sun behind him ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Cheer! y ! The dusk 
Will quickly shroud us. Ere the moon be up, 
Trust me, I'll bring thee food ! 

Zapolya. 

Hunger's tooth has 
Gnawn itself blunt. O, I could queen it well 
O'er my own sorrows as my rightful subjects. 
But wherefore, O revered Kiuprili ! wherefore 
Did my importunate prayers, my hopes and fancies, 
Force thee from thy secure though sad retreat ? 
Would that my tongue had then cloven to my mouth ! 
But Heaven is just! With tears I conquered thee, 
And not a tear is left me to repent with ! 
Hadst thou not done already — hadst thou not 
Suffered — oh, more than e'er man feigned of friendship ? 



272 COLE KID GE 'S POEMS. 



Raab Kiuprili. 

Yet be thou comforted ! What ! hadst thou faith 

When I turned back incredulous ? 'Twas thy light 

That kindled mine. And shall it now go out, 

And leave thy soul in darkness ? Yet look up, 

And think thou see'st thy sainted lord commissioned 

And on his way to aid us ? Whence those late dreams, 

Which after such long interval of hopeless 

And silent resignation all at once 

Night after night commanded thy return 

Hither V and still presented in clear vision 

This wood as in a scene ? this very cavern ? 

Thou darest not doubt that Heaven's especial hand 

Worked in those signs. The hour of thy deliverance 

Is on the stroke : — for Misery cannot add 

Grief to thy griefs, or Patience to thy sufferance I 

Zatolya. 
Cannot ! Oh, what if thou were taken from me ? 
Nay, thou said'st well : for that and death were one. 
Life's grief is at its height indeed ; the hard 
Necessity of this inhuman state 
Has made our deeds inhuman as our vestments. 
Housed in this wild wood, with wild usages, 
Danger our guest, and famine at our portal — 
Wolf-like to prowl in the shepherd's fold by night ! 
At once for food and safety to affrighten 
The Traveller from his road — [Glycine is heard singing without 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Hark ! heard you not 
A distant chaunt ? 

SONG, by Glycine. 

A sunny shaft did I behold, 

From sky to earth it slanted : 
And poised therein a bird so bold — 

Sweet bird, thou wert enchanted ! 
He sunk, he rose, he twinkled, he trolled 

Within that shaft of :junny mist ; 
His eyes of fire, his beak of gold, 

All else of amethyst ! 

And thus he sang : ' Adieu ! r «,dieu ! 
Love's dreams prove seldom true. 



ZAPOLYA, 273 



Sweet month of May, 
We must away; 
Far, far away ! 
To day ! to day ! • 

Zafolya. 

Sure 'tis some blest spirit t 
For since thou slew'st the usurper's emissary 
That plunged upon us, a more than mortal fear 
Is as a wall, that wards off the beleaguerer 
And starves the poor besieged. [Song again. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
It is a maiden's voice ! quick to the cave ! 

Zapolya. 
Hark ! her voice falters ! [Exit Zapolya 

Raab Kiuprili. 

She must not enter 
The cavern, else I will remain unseen ! 

[Kiuprili retires to one side of the stage. Glycine enters 
singing. 

Glycine, {fearfully.) 
A savage place ! saints shield me ! Bethlen ! Bethlen ! 
Not here ? — There's no one here ! I'll sing again. [sings again. 
If I don't hear my own voice, I shall fancy 
Voices in all chance sounds ! [starts. 

'Twas some dry branch 
Dropt of itself ! Oh, he went forth so rashly, 
Took no food with him — only his arms and boar-spear ! 
What if I leave these cakes, this cruse of wine, 
Here by this cave, and seek him with the rest ? 

Raab Kiuprili. {unseen.) 
Leave them and flee ! 

Glycine, {shrieks, then recovering .) 
Where are you? 

Raab Kiuprili. (still unseen.) 

Leave them I 
Glycine. 

'Tis Glycine ! 
Speak to me, Bethlen ! speak in your own voice ! 
All silent ! — If this were the war- wolf's den ! 
'Twas not his voice ! — 

[Glycine leaves the provisions and exit fea? fully. Kiuprili 
18 



274 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



comes forward, seizes them and carries them into the caiy 
em. Glycine returns, having recovered herself. 

Glycine. 

Shame ! Nothing hurt me ! 
Cf some fierce beast hath gored him, he must needs 
(Speak with a strange voice. Wounds cause thirst and hoarse- 
ness ! 

Speak, Bethlen ! or but moan. St — St No-Bethlen ! 

If I turn back and he should be found dead here, 

[she creeps nearer and nearer to the cavern 
1 should go mad ! — Again ! — 'Twas my own heart ! 
Hush, coward heart ! better beat loud with fear, 
Than break with shame and anguish ! 

[As she approaches to enter the cavern, Kiuprili stops her 
Glycine shrieks. 

Saints protect me I 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Swear then by all thy hopes., by all thy fears— 

Glycine. 
Save me ! 

Raab Kiuprili 
Swear secrecy and silence ! 

Glycine. 

I swear I 
Raab Kiuprili. 
Tell what thou art, and what thou seekest ? 

Glycine. 

Only 
A harmless orphan youth, to bring him food — 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Wherefore in this wood ? 

Glycine. 
Alas ! it was his purpose- 

Raab Kiuprili. 
With what intention came he ? Woald'st thou save him ; 
Hide nothing ! 

Glycine. 
Save him ! O forgive his rashness ! 
St* is good, and did not know that thou wert human ! 



zapolya. 275 



Raab Kiuprili. {repeats the word.) 

Human ? [then sternly. 

With what design ? 

Glycine. 
To kill thee, or 
If that thou wert a spirit, to compel thee 
By prayers, and with the shedding: of his blood, 
To make disclosure of his parentage. 
But most of all — 

Zapolya. [rushing out from the cavern.) 

Heaven's blessing on thee ! Speak ! 
Glycine. 
Whether his Mother live, or perished here ! 

Zapolya. 
Angel of Mercy, I was perishing 

And thou didst bring me food : and now thou bring'st 
The sweet, sweet food of hope and consolation 
To a mother's famished heart ! His name, sweet maiden ? 

Glycine. 
E'en till this morning we were wont to name him 
Bethlen Bathory ! 

Zapolya. 
Even^till this morning ? 
This morning? when my weak faith failed me wholly! 
Pardon, O thou that portion'st out our sufferance, 
And fill'st again the widow's empty cruse ! 
Say on ! 

Glycine. 
The false ones charged the valiant youth 
With treasonous words of Emerick — 

Zapolya. 

Ha ! my son ! • 
Glycine. 
And of Lord Casimir — 

Raab Kiuprili. {aside.) 
O agony ! my son ! 

Glycine. 
But my dear lady — 

ZAroLYA and Raab Kiuprili. 

Who? 



Glycine. 

Lady Sarolta 
Frowned and discharged these bad men. 

Raab Kiuprili. {turning off, and to himself.) 

Righteous Heaven 
Sent me a daughter once, and I repined 
That it was not a son. A son was given me. 
My daughter died, and I scarce shed a tear : 
And lo ! that son became my curse and infamy. 
Zapolya. {embraces Glycine.) 
Sweet innocent ! and you came here to seek him, 
And bring him food. Alas! thou fear'st ? 

Glycine. 

Not much ! 
My own dear lady, when I was a child, 
Embraced me oft, but her heart never beat so. 
For I too am an orphan, motherless ! 

Raab Kiuprili. (to Zapolya.) 
yet beware, lest hope's brief flash but deepen 
The after gloom, and make the darkness stormy I 
In that last conflict, following our escape, 
The usurper's cruelty had clogged our flight 
With many a babe, and many a childing mother. 
This maid herself is one of numberless 

Planks from the same vast wreck. [Then to Glycine again* 

Well ! Casimir's wife — 
Glycine. 
She is always gracious, and so praised the old man 
That his heart overflowed, and made discovery 
That in this wood — 

Zapolya. (in agitation.) 
O speak ! 

Glycine. 

A wounded lady — 
[Zapolya faints — they both support her. 

Glycine. 
Is that his mother ? 

Raab Kiuprili. 
She would fain believe it, 
Weak though the proofs be. Hope draws towards itself 
The flame with which it kindles. [Horn heard without 

To the cavern ! 
Quick ! quick ! 



ZAPOLYA. 277 



Glycine. 
Perchance some huntsmen of the king's. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Emerick ? 

Glycine. 
He came this morning — 
They retire to the cavern, bearing Zapolya. Then enter Bethlea 
armed with a boar-spear.) 

Bethlen. 

I had a glimpse 
Of some fierce shape ; and but that Fancy often 
Is Nature's intermeddler, and cries halves 
With the outward sight, 1 should believe I saw it 
Bear off some human prey. O my preserver ! 
Bathory ! Father ! Yes, thou deserv'st that name ! 
Thou didst not mock me ! These are blessed findings ! 
The secret cypher of my destiny [looking at his signet. 

Stands here inscribed : it is the seal of fate ! 
Ha! — {observing the cave.) Had ever monster fitting lair, tis 
yonder ! 
Thou yawning Den, I well remember thee ! 
Mine eyes deceived me not. Heaven leads me on ! 
Now for a blast, loud as a king's defiance, 
To rouse the monster couchant o'er his ravine ! 

[Blows the horn — then a pause. 
Another blast ! and with another swell 
To you, ye charmed watchers of this wood ! 
If haply I have come, the rightful heir 
Of vengeance : if in me survive the spirits 
Of those, whose guiltless blood flowed streaming here ! 

[Blows again louder. 
Still silent ? Is the monster gorged ? Heaven shield me ! 
Thou, faithful spear ! be both my torch and guide. 
(As Bethlen is about to enter, Kiuprili speaks from the cavern 

unseen.) 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Withdraw thy foot ! Retract thine idle spear 
And wait obedient ! 

Bethlen. {in amazement.) 

Ha ! What art thou ? speak t 

Raab Kiuprili. {still unseen.) 
Avengers 1 



278 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 

Bethlen. 
By a dying mother's pangs 
E'en such am I. Receive me ! 

Raab Kiuprili. {still unseen.) 
Wait ! Beware ! 
At thy first step, thou tread est upon the light, 
Thenceforth must darkling flow, and s.'rik in darkness! 

Bethlen. 
Ha ! see my boar-spear trembles like a reed ! 
Oh, fool ! mine eyes are duped by my own shuddering. — 
Those piled thoughts, built up in solitude, 
Year following year, that pressed upon my heart 
As on the altar of some unknown God, 
Then, as if touched by fire from heaven descending, 
Blazed up within me at a father's name — 
Do they desert me now ! — at my last trial ? 
Voice of command ! and thou, O hidden Light ! 
I have obeyed ! Declare ye by what name 
I dare invoke you ! Tell what sacrifice 
Will make you gracious. 

Raab Kiuprili. {still unseen.) 

Patience ! Truth ! Obedience ! 
Be thy whole soul transparent ! so the Light, 
Thou seekest, may enshrine itself within thee ! 
Thy name ? 

Bethlen. 
Ask rather the poor roaming savage, 
Whose infancy no holy rite had blest. 
To him, perchance, rude spoil or ghastly trophy, 
In chase or battle won, have given a name. 
I have none — but like a dog have answered 
To the chance sound which he that fed me, called me J 

Raab Kiuprili. [still unseen.) 
Thy birth-place ? 

Bethlen. 
Deluding spirits ! Do ye mock me ? 
Question the Night ! Bid Darkness tell its birth-place I 
Yet hear ! Within your old oak's hollow trunk, 
Where the bats cling, have I surveyed my cradle t 
The mother-falcon hath her nest above it, 

And in it the wolf litters ! 1 invoke you, 

Tell me, ye secret ones I if ye beheld me 



ZAPOLYA. 279 

As I stood there, like one who having delved 
For hidden gold hath found a talisman, 
O tell ! what rights, what offices of duty 
This signet doth command ? What rebel spirits 
Owe homage to its Lord ? 

Raab Kiuprili. (still unseen.) 

More, guiltier, mightier, 
Than thou may'st summon ! Wait the destined hour ! 

Bethlen. 

yet again, and with more clamorous prayer, 

1 importune ye ! Mock me no more with shadows ! 
This sable mantle — tell, dread voice ! did this 
Enwrap one fatherless ? 

Zapolya. [unseen.) 

One fatherless ! 

Bethlen. {starting.) 
A sweeter voice ! — A voice of love and pity ! 
Was it the softened echo of mine own ? 
Sad echo ! but the hope, it killed, was sickly, 
And ere it died it had been mourned as dead ! 
One other hope yet lives within my soul : 
Quick let me ask ! — while yet this stilling fear, 
This stop of the heart, leaves utterance ! — Are — are these 
Tne sole remains of her that gave me life ? 
Have I a mother ? 

(Zapolya rashes out to embrace Mm. Bethlen starts.) 
Ha! 

Zalolya. (embracing him.) 
My son ! my son ! 
A wretched — Oh no, no ! a blest — a happy mothers' 

[They embrace. Kiuprili and Glycine come foi*ward and the 
curtain drops. 



■ ACT III.-SCENE I. 

A stately room in Lord Casimir's castle. Enter Emekick av 

Laska. 
Emerick. 
I do perceive thou hast a tender conscience, 
Laska, in all things that concern thine own 
Interest or safety. 



28o COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Laska. 
In this sovereign presence 
I can fear nothing, but your dread displeasure. 

Emerick. 
Perchance, thou think'st it strange, that / of all men 
Should covet thus the love of fair Sarolta. 
Dishonoring Casimir ? 

Laska. 
Far be it from me ! 
Your Majesty's love and choice bring honor with them. 

Emerick. 
Perchance, thou hast heard, that Casimir is my friend, 
Fought for me, yea, for my sake, set at naught 
A parent's blessing ; braved a father's curse? 

Laska. {aside.) 
Would I but knew, now, what his Majesty meant t 
Oh yes, Sire ! 'tis our common talk, how Lord 
Kiuprili, my Lord's father — 

Emerick. 

Tis your talk, 
Is it, good statesmen Laska ? 

Laska. 

No, not mine, 
Not mine, an please your Majesty ! There are 
Some insolent malcontents indeed that talk thus — 
Nay worse, mere treason. As Bathory's son, 
The fool that ran into the monster's jaws. 

Emerick. 
Well, 'tis a loyal monster if he rids us 
Of traitors ! But art sure the youth's devoured ? 

Laska. 

Not a limb left an please your Majesty ! 
And that unhappy girl — 

Emerick. 

Thou followed'st her 
Into the wood ? [Laska bows assent. 

Henceforth then I'll believe 
That jealousy can make a hare a lion. 



Laska. 
Scarce had I got the first glimpse of her veil 
When, with a horrid roar that made the leaves 
Of the wood shake — 

Emerick. 
Made thee shake like a leaf ! 
Laska. 
The war- wolf leapt ; at the first plunge he seized her ; 
Forward I rushed ! 

Emerick. 
Most marvellous ! 
Laska. 

Hurled my javelin ; 
Which from his dragon-scales recoiling — 

Emerick. 

Enough ! 
And take, friend, this advice. When next thou tonguest it. 
Hold constant to thy exploit with this monster, 
And leave untouched your common talk aforesaid, 
What your Lord did, or should have done. 

Laska. 

My talk ? 
The saints i rbid ! I always said, for my part, 
1 Was not the king Lord Casimir' s dearest friend f 
Was not that friend a king f Whatever he did 
'Turns all from pure love to his Majesty.' 

Emerick. 
And this then was thy talk? While knave and coward, 
Both strong within thee, wrestle for the uppermost, 
In slips the fool and takes the place of both. 
Babbler ! Lord Casimir did, as thou and all men. 
He loved himself, loved honors, wealth, dominion. 
All these were set upon a father's head : 
Good truth ! a most unlucky accident ! 
For he but wished to hit the prize ; not graze 
The head that bore it : so with steady eye 
Off flew the parricidal arrow. — Even 
As Casimir loved Emerick, Emerick 
Loves Casimir, intends him no dishonor. 
He winked not then, for love of me forsooth! 
For love of me now let him wink ! Or if 
The dame prove half as wise as she is fair, 
He may still pass his hand, and find all smooth, 

[passing his hand across his broth 



Laska. 

Your Majesty's reasoning has convinced me. 

Emerick. {with a slight start, as one who had been talking aloud 
to himself: then with scorn.) 

Thee ! 
'Tis well ! and more than meant. For by my faith 
I had half forgotten thee. — Thou hast the key ? [Laska bows 

And in your lady's chamber there's full space ? 

Laska. 
Between the wall and arras to conceal you. 

Emerick. 
Here ! This purse is but an earnest of thy fortune, 
If thou prov'st faithful. But if thou betray'st me, 
Hark you ! — the wolf, that shall drag thee to his den 
Shall be no fiction. 

[Exit Emerick. Laska manet with a key in one hand, and 
a purse in the other. 

Laska. 

Well then ! Here I stand, 
Like Hercules, on either side a goddess. 
Call this (looking at the purse) 

Preferment ; this (holding up the key) Fidelity I 
And first my golden goddess : what bids she ? 
Only : — ' This way, your Majesty ! hush ! The household 
Are all safe lodged.'' — Then, put Fidelity 
Within her proper wards, just turn her round — 
So — the door opens — and for all the rest, 
'Tis the king's deed, not Laska's. Do but this 
And — ' I'm the mere earnest of your future fortunes.' 
But what says the other ? — Whisper on ! I hear you ! 

[putti?ig the key to his ear* 
All very true ! — but, good Fidelity ! 
If I refuse king Emerick, will you promise, 
And swear now, to unlock the dungeon door, 
And save me from the hangman ? Ay ! you're silent 1 
What, not a word in answer ? A clear non-suit ! — 
Now for one look to see that all are lodged 
At the due distance — then — yonder lies the road 
For Laska and his royal friend king Emerick ! 

[Eivit Laska. 'Then enter Bathory and Bethlen 

Bethlen. 
He looked as if he were some god disguised 
In an old warrior's venerable shape 



ZAPOL 7A. 283 



To guard and guide my mother. Is there not 
Chapel or oratory in this mansion ? 

Old Bathory. 
Even so. 

Bethlen. 
From that place then am I to take 
A helm and breast-plate, both inlaid with gold, 
And the good sword that once was Raab Kiuprili's. 

Old Bathory. 
Those very arms this day Sarolta showed me — 
With wistful look. I'm lost in wild conjectures I 

Bethlen 

tempt me not, e'en with a wandering guess, 
To break the first command a mother's will 
Imposed, a mother's voice made known to me ! 

4 Ask not, my son ; ' said she, ' our names or thine. 
The shadow of the eclipse is passing off 
The full orb of thy destiny ! Already 
The victor Crescent glitters forth and sheds 
O'er the yet lingering haze a phantom light. 
Thou canst not hasten it I Leave then to Heaven 
The work of Heaven : and with a silent spirit 
Sympathize with the powers that work in silence ! ' 
Thus spake she. and she looked as she were then 
Fresh from some heavenly vision ! 

[Re-enter Laska, not perceiving them. 

Laska. 
All asleep ! 
[Then observing Bethlen, stands in idiot-affright. 

1 must speak to it first— Put — put the question ! 

I'll confess all ! [Stammering with fear. 

Old Bathory. 

Laska ! what ails thee, man ? 

Laska. {pointing to Bethlen.) 

There ! 

Old Bathory. 

I see nothing ! where ? 

Laska. 

He does not see it f 
Bethlen, torment me not ! 

Bethlen. 
Soft ! Rouse him gently t 



2»4 COLERIDGE \S POEMS. 

He hath out watched his hour, and half asleep, 
With eyes half open, mingles sight with dreams. 

Old Bathory. 
Ho! Laska ! Don't you know us ? 'tis Bathory 
And Bethlen ! 

Laska, {recovering himself.) 
Good now ! Ha ! ha ! An excellent trick. 
Afraid ? Nay, no offence ! But I must laugh. 
But are you sure now, that 'tis you, yourself? 

Bethlen. {holding up his hand as if to strike him.) 
Would'st be convinced ? 

Laska. 
No nearer, pray ! consider ! 
If it should prove his ghost, the touch would freeze me 
To a tombstone. No nearer ! 

Bethlen. 

The fool is drunk ! 
Laska. {still more recovering.) 
Well, now ! I love a brave man to my heart. 
I myself braved the monster, and would fain 
Have saved the false one from the fate she tempt 

Old Bathory. 
You, Laska ? 

Bethlen. {to Bathory.) 
Mark 1 Heaven grant it may be so I 
Glycine ? 

Laska. 
She ! I traced her by the voice. 
You'll scarce believe me, when I say I heard 
The close of a song : the poor wretch had been singing : 
As if she wished to compliment the war-wolf 
At once with music and a meal ! 

Bethlen. {to Bathory.) 

Mark that ! 
Laska. 
At the next moment I beheld her running, 
Wringing her hands, with, 'Bethlen! poor Bethlen I " 
1 almost fear, the sudden noise I made, 
Rushing impetuous through the brake, alarmed her. 
Si 10 stopt, then mad with fear, turned round and ran 
Into. the monster's gripe. One piteous scream 
I heard. There was no second — I — 



ZAPOLYA. 28q 



Bethlen. 

Stop there ! 
We'll spare your modesty ! Who dares not honor 
Laska's brave tongue, and high heroic fancy ? 

Laska. 
You too, Sir Knight, have come back safe and sound ! 
You played the hero at a cautious distance ! 
Or was it that you sent the poor girl forward 
To stay the monster's stomach ? Dainties quickly 
Pall on the taste and cloy the appetite ! 

Old Bathory. 
Laska, beware! Forget not what thou art ! 
Should'st thou but dream thou'rt valiant, cross thyself I 
And ache all over at the dangerous fancy I 

Laska. 

What then ! you swell upon my lady's favor, 

Ilijih Lords and perilous of one day's growth ! 

But other judges now sit on the bench ! 

And haply, Laska hath found audience there, 

Where to defend the treason of a son 

Might end in lifting up both son and father 

Still higher ; to a height from which indeed* 

You both may drop, but, spite of fate and fortune, 

Will be secured from falling to the ground. 

'Tis possible too, young man ! that royal Emerick, 

At Laska's rightful suit, may make enquiry 

By whom seduced, the maid so strangely missing — 

Bethlen. 
Soft ! my good Laska ! might it not suffice, 
If to yourself, being Lord Casimir's steward, 
1 should make record of Glycine's fate? 

Laska. 
'Tis well ! it shall content me! though your fear 
Has all the credit of these lowered tones, [then very pompously, 
First we demand the manner of her death ? 

Bethlen. 
Nay ! that's superfluous ! Have you not just told us, 
That you yourself, led by impetuous valor, 
Witnessed the whole ? My tale's of later date. 
After the fate, from which your valor strove 
In vain to rescue the rash maid, I saw her I 



286 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Laska. 

Glycine ? 

Bethlen. 
Nay ! Dare I accuse wise Laska, 
Whose words find access to a monarch's ear, 
Of a base, braggart lie? It must have been 
Her spirit that appeared to me. But haply 
I come too late ? It has itself delivered 
Its own commission to you ? 

Old Bathory. 

'Tis most likely ! 
And the ghost doubtless vanished, when we entered 
And found brave Laska staring wide — at nothing ! 

Laska. 
'Tis well ! You've ready wits ! I shall report them, 
With all due honor, to his Majesty ! 
Treasure them up, I pray ! A certain person, 
Whom the king natters with his confidence, 
Tells you, his royal friend asks startling questions I 
'Tis but a hint ! And now what says the ghost ! 

Bethlen. 
Listen ! for thus it spake : ' Say thou to Laska, 
Glycine, knowing alt thy thoughts engrossed 
In thy new office of king's fool and knave. 
Foreseeing thou' It forget with thine own hand 
To make due penance for the wrongs thou'st caused her. 
For thy soul's safety, doth consent to take it 
From Bethlen 's cudgel' — thus. [beats him off. 

Off ! scoundrel ! off ! 

[Laska runs away. 
Old Bathory. 
The sudden swelling of this shallow dastard 
Tells of a recent storm : the first disruption 
Of the black cloud that hangs and threatens o'er us. 

Bethlen. 
E'en this reproves my loitering. Say where lies 
The oratory ? 

Old Bathory. 
Ascend yon flight of stairs ! 
Midway the corridor a silver lamp 
Hangs o'er the entrance of Sarblta's chamber, 
And facing it, the low arched oratory I 



ZAPOLYA 287 



Me thou" It find watching at the outward gate : 
For a petard might burst the bars, unheard 
By the drenchpd porter, and Sarolta hourly 
Expects Lord Casimir, spite of Emerick's message! 

Bethlen„ 
There I will meet you ! And till then good night ! 
Dear good old man, good night ! 

Old Bathory. 

O yet one moment ! 
What I repelled, when it did seem my own, 
I cling to, now 'tis parting — call me father ! 
It cannot now mislead thee. O my son, 
Ere yet our tongues have learnt another name, 
Bethlen ! — say — Father to me ! 

Bethlen, 

Now> and forever 
My father ! other sire than thou, on earth 
I never had, a dearer could not have ! 
From the base earth you raised me to your arms, 
And I would leap from off a throne, and kneeling, 
Ask Heaven's blessing from thy lips. My father ! 

Bathory. 
Go! Go! 

* Bethlen breaks off and exit. Bathory looks affectionately 
after him. 

May every star now shining over us, 
Be as an angel's eye, to watch and guard him ! [Exit Bathory, 
Scene changes to a splendid Bed-chamber, hung with tapestry, 
Sarolta in an elegant Night Dress, and an Attendant, 

Attendant. 
We all did love her, madam ! 

Sarolta. 

She deserved it I 
Luckless Glycine \ rash unhappy girl ! 
T was the first time she e'er deceived me. 

Attendant. 
She was in love, and had she not died thus, 
With grief for Bethlen's loss, and fear of Laska, 
She would have pined herself to death at home. 

Sarolta. 
Has the youth's father come back from his search ? 



*£& COL&RWG&S POEMS. 



Attendant. 

Be never will, I fear roe, O dear lady ! 

That Laska did so triumph o'er the old man — 

It was quite cruel — ' You'll be sure,' said he, 

'To meet with part at least of your son Bethlen, 

Or the war-wolf must have a quick digestion ! 

Go I Search the wood by all means ! Go ! I pray you ! ' 



Inhuman wretch ! 



Sarolta. 



Attendant. 



And old Bathory answered 
With a sad smile, ' It is a witch's prayer, 
And may Heaven read it backwards. 9 Though she was rash, 
Twas a small fault for such a punishment ! 

Sarolta. 

"Nay ! 'twas my grief, and not my anger spoke. 

Small fault indeed ! but leave me, my good girl ! 

X feel a weight that only prayer can lighten. [Exit Attendant 

O they were innocent, and yet have perished 

In their May of life ; and Vice grows old in triumph. 

Is it Mercy's hand, that for the bad man holds 

Life's closing gate ? 

Still passing thence petitionary Hours 
To woo the obdurate spirit to repentance ? 
Or would this dullness tell me, that there is 
Guilt too enormous to be duly punished, 
Save by increase of guilt ? The Powers of Evil 
Are jealous claimants. Guilt too hath its ordeal 
And Hell its own probation ! — Merciful Heaven, 
Rather than this, pour down upon thy suppliant 
Disease, and agony, and comfortless want ! 
O send us forth to wander on, unsheltered ! 
Make our food bitter with despised tears ! 
Let viperous scorn hiss at us as we pass ! 
Yea, let us sink down at our enemy's gate, 
And beg forgiveness and a morsel of bread ! 
With all the heaviest worldly visitations. 
Let the dire father's curse that hovers o'er us 
Work out its dread fulfilment, and the spirit 
Of wronged Kiuprili be appeased. But only, 
Only, O merciful in vengeance! let not 
That plague turn inward on my Casimir's soul / 



Scare thence the fiend Ambition, and restore him 
To his own heart ! O save him ! Save my husband ! 

[During the latter part of this speech Emerick comes for- 
ward from his hiding-place. Sarotta seeing him, without 
recognizing him. 
In such a shape a father's curse should come. 

Emerick. (advancing.) 
Fear not ! 

Sarolta. 
Who art thou ? Robber ? Traitor? 

Emerick. 

Friend ! 
Who in good hour hath startled these dark fancies, 
Rapacious traitors, that would fain depose 
Joy, love, and beauty from their natural thrones : 
Those lips, those angel eyes, that regal forehead. 

Sarolta. 
Strengthen me, Heaven ! I must not seem afraid ! [aside, 

The king to-night then deigns to play the masker. 
What seeks your Majesty ? 

Emerick. 
Sarolta's love ; 
And Emerick's power lies prostrate at her feet. 

Sarolta. 
Heaven guard the sovereign's power from such debasement 
For rather, Sire, let it descend in vengeance 
On the base ingrate, on the faithless slave 
Who dared unbar the doors of these retirements 
For whom ? Has Casimir deserved this insult ? 
O my misgiving heart ? If — if — from Heaven, 
Yet not from you, Lord Emerick ! 

Emerick. 

Chiefly from me. 
Has he not like an ingrate robbed my court 
Of Beauty's star, and kept my heart in darkness ? 
First then on him I will administer justice 
li not in mercy, yet in love and rapture. [Seizes her. 

Sarolta. 
Help t Treason ! Help 1 

19 



29° 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Here's none can hear you ! 



Emerick. 
Call louder ! Scream again, 

Sarolta. 
Hear me, hear me, Heaven ! 



Emerick. 
Nay, why this rage ? Who best deserves you ? Casimir, 
Emerick's bought implement, the jealous slave 
That mews you up with bolts and bars ? or Emerick 
Who proffers you a throne ! Nay, mine you shall be. 
Hence with this fond resistance ! Yield ; then live 
This month a widow and the next a queen ! 

Sarolta. 
Yet, yet for one brief moment [struggling* 

Unhand me, I conjure you. 

[She throws him ojf and rushes towards a toilet. Emerick 
follows, and as she takes a dagger, he grasps it in her 
hand. 

Emerick. 

Ha ! Ha ! a dagger ; 
A seemly ornament for a lady's casket 5 
'Tis held devotion is akin to love, 
But yours is tragic ! Love in war ! It charms me, 
And makes your beauty worth a king's embraces ! 

(During this Speech Bethlen enters armed.) 
Bethlen. 
Ruffian, forbear I Turn, turn and front my sword 1 

Emerick. 
Pish ! who is this ? 

Sarolta. 
O sleepless eye of Heaven I 
A blest, a blessed spirit ! Whence earnest thou ? 
May I still call thee Bethlen ? 

Bethlen. 
Ever, lady, 

Emerick. 
Insolent slave ! Depart! 



Your faithful soldier ! 



Know'st thou not me f 



ZAPOLYA. 291 



BETHLEN. 

I know thou art a villain 
And coward ! That thy devilish purpose marks thee I 
What else, this lady must instruct my sword I 

Sarolta. 
Monster, retire ! O touch him not, thou blest one ! 
This is the hour that fiends and damned spirits 
Do walk the earth, and take what form they list ! 

Yon devil hath assumed a king's ! 

• 

Bethlen. 

Usurped it ! 
Emerick. 
The king will play the devil with thee indeed ! 
But that I mean to hear thee howl on the rack, 
I would debase this sword, and lay thee prostrate 
At this thy paramour's feet ! then drag her forth 
Stained with adulterous blood, and [then to Sarolta 

— mark you, traitress I 
Strumpeted first, then turned adrift to beggary I 
Thou prayed'st for't too. 

Sarolta. 
Thou art so fiendish wicked, 
That in thy blasphemies I scarce hear thy threats ! 

Bethlen. 
Lady, be calm ! fear not this king of the buskin ! 
A king ! Oh laughter ! A king Bajazet ! 
That from some vagrant actor's tyring room, 
Hath stolen at once his speech and crown ! 

Emerick. 

Ah! treason! 
Thou hast been lessoned and tricked up for this ! 
As surely as the wax on thy death-warrant 
Shall take the impression of this royal signet, 
So plain thy face hath ta'en the mask of rebel ! 

[Emerick points his hand haughtily towards Bethlen, who % 
catching a sight of the signet, seizes his hand and eager- 
ly observes the signet, then flings the hand back with in* 
dignant joy. 

Bethlen. 
It must be so 1 'Tis e'en the counterpart I 
But with a foul usurping cypher on it ! 
The light hath flashed from Heaven, and I must follow it ! 



292 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



curst usurper ! O thou brother-murderer ! 
That madest a star-bright queen a fugitive widow ! 
Who fillest the land with curses, being thyself 

All curses in one tyrant ! see and tremble ! 

This is Kiuprili's sword that now hangs o'er thee ! 

Kiuprili's blasting curse, that from its point 

Shoots lightnings at thee. Hark ! in Andreas' name, 

Heir of his vengeance, hell-hound ! 1 defy thee. 

[They fight, and just as Emerick is disarmed, in ?'ush Casi- 
mir, Old Bathony, and attendants. Casimir runs in be- 
tween the combatants, and parts them : in the struggle 
Bethlen's sword is thrown down. 

Casimir. 
The king ! disarmed too by a stranger ! Speak I 
What may this mean ? 

Emerick. 
Deceived, dishonored lord ! 
Ask thou yon fair adulteress ! She will tell thee 
A tale, which, would'st thou be both dupe and traitor, 
Thou wilt believe against thy friend and sovereign ! 
Thou art present now, and a friend's duty ceases : 
To thine own justice leave I thine own wrongs. 
Of half thy vengeance, I perforce must rob thee, 
For that the sovereign claims. To thy allegiance 

1 now commit this traitor and assassin. [Then to the Attendants, 
Hence with him to the dungeon ! and to-morrow, 

Ere the sun rises, — Hark ! your heads or his I 

Bethlen. 
Can Hell work miracles to mock Heaven's justice ? 

Emerick. 
Who speaks to him dies ! The traitor that has menaced 
His king, must not pollute the breathing air, 
Even with a word ! 

Casimir. {to Bathory.) 
Hence with him to the dungeon ! 
[Exit Bethlen, hurried off by Bathory and Attendants, 

Emerick. 
We hunt to-morrow in your upland forest : 
Thou {to Casimir) wilt attend us ; and wilt then explain 
This sudden and most fortunate arrival. 

[Exit Emerick ; Manent Casimir and Sarolta, 



ZAPOL YA. 293 



SAROLTA. 
My lord ! my husband ! look whose sword lies yonder ! 

[Pointing to the sword which Bethlen had been disarmed of 
by the Attendants. 
It is Kiuprili's, Casimir ; 'tis thy father's ! 
And wielded by a stripling's arm, it baffled, 
Yea, fell like Heaven's own lightnings on that Tarquin. 

Casimir. 
Hush ! hush ! [In an under voice* 

I had detected ere I left the city 

The tyrant's curst intent. Lewd, damned ingrate ! 
For him did I bring down a father's curse ? 
Swift, swift must be our means ! To-morrow's sun 
Sets on his fate or mine ! O blest Sarolta ! t Embracing her. 

No other prayer, late penitent, dare I offer, 
But that thy spotless virtues may prevail 
O'er Casimir's crimes, and dead Kiuprili's curse . 

[Exeunt consulting. 



ACT IV.— SCENE I. 

A glade in a wood. Enter Casimir looking anxiously around. 

Casimir. 
This needs must be the spot ! O, here he comes ! 
Enter Lord Rudolph. 

Well met, Lord Rudolph ! 

Your whisper was not lost upon my ear, 
And I dare trust — 

Lord Rudolph. 
Enough ! the time is precious ! 
You left Temeswar late on yester-eve ? 
And sojourned there some hours ? 

Casimir. 

I did so 1 

Lord Rudolph. 

Heard yom 

Aught of a hunt preparing ? 

Casimir. 

Yes ' 3 and met 
The assembled huntsmen 1 



294 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Lord Rudolph. 

Was there no word given ? 
Casimir. 
The word for me was this ; — The royal Leopard 
Chases thy milk-white dedicated Hind. 

Lord Rudolph. 
Your answer ? 

Casimir. 
As the word proves false or true 
Will Casimir cross the hunt, or join the huntsmen I 

Lord Rudolph. 
The event redeemed their pledge ? 

Casimir. 

It did, and therefore 
Have I sent back both pledge and invitation. 
The spotless Hind hath fled to them for shelter, 
And bears with her my seal of fellowship ! [They take hands, &c, 

Lord Rudolph. 
But Emerick ! how when you reported to him 
Sarolta's disappearance, and the flight 
Of Bethlen with his guards ? 

Casimir. 

O he received it 
As evidence of their mutual guilt. In fine, 
With cozening warmth condoled with, and dismissed me. 

Lord Rudolph. 
I entered as the door was closing on you : 
His eye was fixed, yet seemed to follow you 
With such a look of hate, and scorn, and triumph, 
As if he had you in the toils already, 
And were then choosing where to stab you first. 
But hush ! draw back ! 

Casimir. 
This nook is at the furthest 
From any beaten track. 

Lord Rudolph. 

There ! mark them ! 
[Points to where Laska and Pestalutz cross the Stage, 
Casimir. 

Laska ! 



ZAPOL YA. 295 



Lord Rudolph. 
One of the two I recognized this morning ; 
His name is Pestalutz : a trusty ruffian, 
Whose face is prologue still to some dark murder. 
Beware no stratagem, no trick of message, 
Dispart you from your servants. 

Casimir. {aside.) 

I deserve it. 
The comrade of that ruffian is my servant ; 
The one I trusted most and most preferred. 
But we must part. What makes the king so late ? 
It was his wont to be an early stirrer. 

Lord Rudolph. 

And his main policy 
To enthral the sluggard nature in ourselves 
Is, in good truth, the better half of the secret 
To enthral the world : ior the will governs all. 
See the sky lowers ! the cross-winds waywardly 
Chase the fantastic masses of the clouds 
W T ith a wild mockery of the coming hunt ! 

Casimir, 
Mark, too, the edges of yon lurid mass ! 
Restless and vext, as if some angering hand, 
With fitful, tetchy snatch, unrolled and plucked 
The jetting ringlets of the vaporous fleece ! 
These are sure signs of conflict nigh at hand, 
And elemental war ! [A single trumpet heard at some distance. 

Lord Rudolph. 
That single blast 
Announces that the tyrant's pawing courser 
Neighs at the gate. [A volley of trumpets. 

Hark ! now the king comes forth ! 
Forever 'midst this crash of horns and clarions 
He mounts his steed, which proudly rears an-end, 
While he looks round at ease, and scans the crowd, 
Vain of his stately form and horsemanship ! 
I must away ! my absence may be noticed. 

Casimir. 
Oft as thou canst, essay to lead the hunt 
Hard by the forest-skirts ; and ere high noon 
Expect our sworn confederates from Temeswar. 



296 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

I trust, ere yet this clouded sun slopes westward, 
That Emerick's death, or Casimir's, will appease 
The manes of Zapolya and Kiuprili ! 

[Exit Rudolph and manet Caaimir, 

The traitor, Laska ! 

And yet Sarolta, simple, inexperienced, 

Could see him as he was, and often warned me. 

Whence learned she this ? — O she was innocent ! 

And to be innocent is nature's wisdom ! 

The fledge-dove knows the prowlers of the air, 

Feared soon as seen, and nutters back to shelter. 

And the young steed recoils upon his haunches, 

The never-yet-seen adder's hiss first heard. 

surer than suspicion's hundred eyes 

Is that fine sense, which to the pure in heart, 

By mere oppugnancy of their own goodness, 

Reveals the approach of evil. Casimir ! 

fool ! O parricide ! through yon wood didst thou, 

With fire and sword, pursue a patriot fatner, 

A widow and an orphan. Dar'st thou then 

(Curse-laden wretch) put forth these hands to raise 

The ark, all sacred, of thy country's cause ? 

Look down in pity on thy son, Kiuprili ! 

And let this deep abhorrence of his crime, 

Unstained with selfish fears, be his atonement ! 

strengthen him to nobler compensation 

In the deliverance of his bleeding country ! [Exit Casimir. 

Scene changes to the mouth of a cavern as in Act II. Zapolya 
and Glycine discovered. 
Zapolya. 
Our friend is gone to seek some safer cave : 
Do not then leave me long alone, Glycine ! 
Having enjoyed thy commune, loneliness, 
That but oppressed me hitherto, now scares. 

Glycine. 

1 shall know Bethlen at the furthest distance, 
And the same moment I descry him, lady, 

I will return to you. [Exit Glycine. 

Enter Old Bathory, speaking as he enters. 
Old Bathory. 
Who hears ? A friend ! 
A messenger from him who bears the signet ! 

[Zapolya, who had been gazing affectionately after Glycine % 
starts at Bathory' s voice. 



Z A POLY A. 297 



ZAPOLYA. 
He hath the watchword ! — Art thou not Bathory ? 

Old Bathory. 

noble lady ! greetings from your son ! [Bathory kneete* 

Zapolya. 
Rise ! rise ! Or shall I rather kneel beside thee, 
And call down blessings from the wealth of Heaven 
Upon thy honored head ? When thou last saw'st me 

1 would full fain have knelt to thee, and could not, 
Thou dear old man ! How oft since then in dreams 
Have I done worship to thee, as an angel 
Bearing my helpless babe upon thy wings ! 

Old Bathory. 
O he was born to honor ! Gallant deeds 
And perilous hath he wrought since y ester -eve. 
Now from TemesWar (for to him was trusted 
A life, save thine, the dearest) he hastens hithor — 

Zapolya. 
Lady Sarolta mean'st thou ? 

Old Bathory. 

She is safe. 
The royal brute hath overleapt his prey, 
And when he turned, a sworded Virtue faced him. 
My own brave boy — O pardon, noble lady ! — 
Your son — — - 

Zapolya. 
Hark ! Is it he ? 

Old Bathory. 

I hear a voice 
Too hoarse for Bethlen's ! 'Twas his scheme and hope, 
Long ere the hunters could approach the forest 
To have led you hence. — Retire. 

Zapolya. 

O life of terrors I 

Old Bathory. 
In the cave's mouth we have such 'vantage ground 
That even this old arm — 

{Exeunt Zapolya and Bathory into the Cave, 



COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Enter Laska and Pestalutz. 

Laska. 

Not a step further ! 

Pestalutz. 
Dastard ! was this your promise to the king ? 

Laska. 

I have fulfilled his orders. Have walked with you 
As with a friend : have pointed out Lord Casimir : 
And now I leave you to take care of him. 
For the king's purposes are doubtless friendly. 

Pestalutz. {affecting to start.) 
Be on your guard, man ! 

Laska. (in affright.) 
Ha ! what now ? 

Pestalutz. 

Behind you! 
'Twas one of Satan's imps, that grinned and threatened you 
For your most impudent hope to cheat his master ! 

Laska. 
Pshaw ! What, you think 'tis fear that makes me leave you ? 

Pestalutz. 
Is't not enough to play the knave to others, 
But thou must lie to thine own heart ? 

Laska. {pompously.) 
Friend ! Laska will be found at his own post, 
Watching elsewhere for the king's interest. 
There's a rank plot that Laska must hunt down, 
'Twixt Bethlen and Glycine ! 

Pestalutz. {with a sneer.) 

What! the girl 
Whom Laska saw the war- wolf tear in pieces ? 

Laska. {throwing down a bow and arrows.) 

Well .' There's my arms ! Hark ! should your javelin fail you, 
These points are tipt with venom. 

[Starts and sees Glycine without 



ZAPOL YA. 299 



By Heaven ! Glycine ! 
Now as you love the king, help me to seize her ! 

[They runout after Glycine, and she shrieks without : then 
enter Bathory from the cavern. 

Old Bathory. 

Rest, lady, rest ! I feel in every sinew 

A young man's strength returning ! Which way went they ? 

The shriek came thence. 

[Clash of swords, and Bethlen 1 s voice heard from behind the 

scenes ! Glycine enters alarmed ; then, as seeing Laska's 

bow and arrows, 

Glycine 

Ha! weapons here? Then, Bethlen, thy Glycine 
Will die with thee or save thee ! 

[She seizes them and rushes out. Bathory following her. 

Lively and irregular music, and Peasants with hunting 

spears cross the stage, singing chorally. 



CHORAL SONG 

Up, up ! ye dames, ye lasses gay 

To the meadows trip away. 

'Tis you must tend the flocks this morn, 

And scare the small birds from the corn. 

Not a soul at home may stay ; 

For the shepherds must go 

With lance and bow 
To hunt the wolf in the woods to-day. 

Leave the hearth and leave the house 
To the cricket and the mouse : 
Find grannam out a sunny seat, 
With babe and lambkin at her feet. 
!Not a soul at home may stay : 

For the shepherds must go 

With lance and bow 
To hunt the wolf in the woods to-day. 

Re-enter, as the Huntsmen pass off, Bathory, Bethlen, and 

Glycine. 

Glycine, (leaning on Bethlen.) 
And now once more a woman — 



300 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Bethlen. 

Was it then 
That timid eye, was it those maiden hands, 
That sped the shaft, which saved me and avenged me ? 

Old Bathory. (to Bethlen, exultingly.) 
'Twas as a vision blazoned on a cloud 
By lightning, shaped into a passionate scheme 
Of life and death ! I saw the traitor, Laska, 
Stoop and snatch up the javelin of his comrade ; 
The point was at your back, when her shaft reached him ; 
The coward turned, and at the self-same instant 
The braver villain fell beneath your sword. 

Enter Zapolya. 

Zapolya. 
l3ethlen ! my child ! and safe too ! 

Bethlen. 

Mother 1 Queen ! 
Royal Zapolya ! name me Andreas ! 
Nor blame thy son, if being a king, he yet 
Hath made his own arm minister of his justice. 
So do the Gods who launch the thunder-bolt ! 

Zapolya. 
O Raab Kiuprili ! Friend ! Protector ! Guide ! 
In vain we trenched the altar round with waters, 
A flash from Heaven hath touched the hidden incense — 

Bethlen. {hastily.) 
And that majestic form that stood beside thee 
Was Raab Kiuprili ! 

Zapolya. 
It was Raab Kiuprili \ 
As sure as thou art Andreas, and the king. 

Old Bathory. 
Hail, Andreas ! hail, my king I [triumphantly. 

Andreas. 

Stop, thou revered one, 
Lest we offend the jealous destinies 
By shouts ere victory. Deem it then thy duty 
To pay this homage, when 'tis mine to claim it. 

Glycine. 
Accept thine hand-maid's service * [kneeling. 



ZAPOL VA. 301 



Zapolya. 

Raise her, son I 

raise her to thine arms ! she saved thy life, 

And, through ker love for thee, she saved thy mother's ! 

Hereafter thou shalt know, that this dear maid 

Hath other and hereditary claims 

Upon thy heart, and with Heaven-guarded instinct 

But carried on the work her sire began ! 

• Andreas. 
Dear maid ! more dear thou canst not be ! the rest 
Shall make my love religion. Haste we hence : 
For as I reached the skirts of this high forest, 

1 heard the noise and uproar of the chase, 
Doubling its echoes from the mountain foot. 

Glycine. 
Hark ! Sure the hunt approaches. 

[Horn without, and afterwards distant thunder* 

Zapolya. 

O Kiuprili ! 
Old Bathory. 
The demon-hunters of the middle air 
Are in full cry, and scare with arrow fire 
The guilty ! Hark ! now here, now there, a horn 
Swells singly with irregular blast I the tempest 
Has scattered them ! 

[Horns heard as from different places at a distance, 
Zapolya. 
O Heavens ! where stays Kiuprili ? 
Old Bathory. 
The wood will be surrounded ! leave me here. 

Andreas 
My mother ! let me see thee once in safety, 
I too will hasten back, with lightning's speed 

To Sftfik thfl hprn t 



To seek the hero 
I'll guide hiui safe. 



Old Bathory. 
Haste ! my life upon it 

Andreas, (thunder again.) 
Ha ! what a crash was there I 



302 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Heaven seems to claim a mightier criminal 

[pointing ivithout to the body of Pestalutz. 
Than yon vile subaltern. 

Zapolya. 
Your behest, High Powers, 
Lo, I obey ! to the appointed spirit, 
That hath so long kept watch round this drear cavern, 
In fervent faith, Kiuprili, I entrust thee ! 

[Exeunt Zapolya, Andreas, and Glycine. Andreas having 
in haste dropt his sword. Manet Bathory. 

Old Bathory. 
Yon bleeding corse {pointing to Pestalutz' 's body) may work us 

mischief still : 
Once seen, 'twill rouse alarm and crowd the hunt 
From all parts towards this spot. Stript of its armor, 
111 drag Yl hither. 

[Exit Bathory. After awhile several Hunters cross the stage 
as Mattered. Some time after, enter Kiuprili in his dis- 
guise, fainting with fatigue, and as pursued. 

Raab Kiuprili. (throwing off his disguise.) 

Sinc<2 Heaven alone can save me, Heaven alone 
Shall be my trust. [Then speaking as to Zapolya hi the Cavern. 
Haste ! haste ! Zapolya, flee ! 
[He enters the Cavern, and then returns in alarm. 
Gone ! Seized perhaps ? Oh no, let me not perish 
Despairing of Heaven's justice ! Faint, disarmed, 
Each sinew powerless, senseless rock, sustain me ! 
Thou art parcel of my native land. [ Then observing the sword 

A sword ! 
Ha! and my sword ! Zapolya hath escaped, 
The murderers are baffled, and there lives 
An Andreas to avenge Kiuprili's fall — 
There was a time, when this dear sword did flash 
As dreadful as the storm-fire from mine arms— 
I can scarce raise it now — yet come, fell tyrant ! 
And bring with thee my shame and bitter anguish, 
To end his work and thine ! Kiuprili now 
Can take the death-blow as a soldier should. 

Re-enter Bathory, with the dead body of Pestalutz, 
Old Bathory. 
Poor tool and victim of another's guilt ! 
Thou follow'st heavily : a reluctant weight I 



Z A POLY A. 303 



Good truth, it is an undeserved honor 

That in Zapolya and Kiuprili's cave 

A wretch like thee should find a burial-place. 

{Then observing Kiuprili. 
'Tis he ! — In Andreas' and Zapolya's name 
Follow me, reverend form ! Thou need'st not speak, 
For thou canst be no other than Kiuprili ! 

Kiuprili. 
And are they safe ? • [Noise without. 

Old Bathorz. 
Conceal yourself, my lord ! 
1 will mislead them ! 

Kiuprili. 
Is Zapolya safe ? 
Old Bathory. 
I doubt it not ; but haste, haste, 1 conjure you ! 

[As he retires, in rushes Casimir. 

Casimir. {entering.) 

Monster ! 
Thou shalt not now escape me ! 

Old Batijory. 

Stop, lord Casimir ! 
It is no monster. 

Casimir. 
Art thou too a traitor ? 
Is this the place where Emerick's murderers lurk ? 
Say where is he that, tricked in this disguise, 
First lured me on, then scared my dastard followers ? 
Thou must have seen him. Say where is th' assassin? 

Old Bathory. (pointing to the body of Pestalutz.) 
There lies the assassin ! slain by that same sword 
That was descending on his curst employer, 
When entering thou beheld'st Sarolta rescued ! 

Casimir. 
Strange providence ! what then was he who fled me ? 

[Bathory points to the Cavern, whence Kiuprili advances. 
Thy looks speak fearful things ! Whither, old man ! 
Would thy hand point me ? 

Old Bathory. 

Casimir to thy father. 



304 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Casimir. {discovering Kiuprili.) 
The curse ! the curse ! Open and swallow me, 
Unsteady earth ! Fall, dizzy rocks ! and hide ine ! 

Old Bathory. {to Kiuprili.) 
Speak, speak, my lord ! 

Kiuprili. (holds out the sword to Bathory.) 
Bid him fulfil his work ! 

Casimir. 
Thou art Heaven's immediate minister, dread spirit I 
O for sweet mercy, take some other form, 
And save me from perdition and despair ! 

Old Bathory. 
He lives ! 

Casimir. 
Lives ! A father's curse can never die ! 

Kiuprili. (in a tone of pity.) 
O Casimir ! Casimir ! 

Old Bathory. 
Look ! he doth forgive you ! 
Hark ! 'tis the tyrant's voice. [Emerick's voice without, 

Casimir. 

I kneel, I kneel ! 
Retract thy curse ! O, by my mother's ashes, 
Have pity on thy self-abhorring child ! 
If not for me, yet for my innocent wife, 
Yet for my country's sake, give my arm strength, 
Permitting me again to call thee father ! 

Kiuprili. 
Son, I forgive thee ! Take thy father's sword ; 
When thou shalt lift it in thy country's cause, 
In that same instant doth thy father bless thee ! 

[Kiuprili and Casimir embrace ; they all retire to the Cavern 
supporting Kiuprili. Casimir as by accident drops his 
robe, and Bathory throws it over the body of Pestalutz. 

Emerick. {entering.) 
Fools ! Cowards ! follow — or by Hell I'll make you 
Find reason to fear Emerick, more than all 
The mummer-fiends that ever masqueraded 



ZAPOL YA. 30$ 



As gods or wood-nymphs ! — 

[Then sees the body of Pestalutz, covered by Casimir' s cloak* 
Ha ! 'tis done then ! 
Our necessary villain hath proved faithful, 
And there lies Casimir, and our last fears ! 

Well !— Ay, well ! 

And is it not well ? For though grafted on us, 
And filled too with our sap, the deadly power 
Of the parent poison-tree lurked in its fibres : 
There was too much of Raab Kiuprili in him : 
The old enemy looked at me in his face, 
E'en when his words did flatter me with duty. 

[As Emerick moves towards the body, enter from the Cavern 
Casimir and Bathory. 

Old Bathory. {pointing to where the noise is x and aside to 
Casimir \) 
This way they come ! 

Casimir. {aside to Bathory .) 
Hold them in check awhile, 
The path is narrow ! Rudolph will assist thee. 

Emerick. {aside, not perceiving Casimir and Bathory, and look' 

ing at the dead body.) 
And ere I ring the alarum of my sorrow, 
I'll scan that lace once more, and murmur Here 
Lies Casimir, the last of the Kiuprilis ! 

[Uncovers the face, and starts. 
Hell! 'tis Pestalutz. 

Casimir. {coming forward.) 
Yes, thou ingrate Emerick ! 
'Tis Pestalutz ! 'tis thy trusty murderer ! 
To quell thee more, see Raab Kiuprili's sword ! 

Emerick. 
Curses on it, and thee ! Think'st thou that petty omen 
Dare whisper fear to Emerick's destiny ? 
Ho ! Treason ! Treason ! 

Casimir. 
Then have at thee, tyrant ! 

[ They fight. Emerick falls* 

Emerick. 
Betrayed and baffled 

£y mine pwn tool I Oh I [dies, 

20 



306 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Casimir. (triumphantly.) 

Hear, hear, my father ! 
Thou should'st have witnessed thine own deed. O father, 
Wake from that envious swoon ! The tyrant's fallen ! 
Thy sword hath conquered ! As I lifted it 
Thy blessing did indeed descend upon me ; 
Dislodging the dread curse. It flew forth from me 
And lighted on the tyrant ! 

Enter Rudolph, Bathory, and Attendants. 
Rudolph, and Bathory. {entering.) 

Friends ! friends to Casimir ! 

Casimir. 
Rejoice, Illyrians ! the usurper's fallen. 

Rudolph. 
So perish tyrants ! so end usurpation ! 

Casimir. 
Bear hence the body, and move slowly on ! 

One moment 

Devoted to a joy, that bears no witness, 
I follow you, and we will greet our countrymen 
With the two best and fullest gifts of heaven — 
A tyrant fallen, a patriot chief restored ! 

[Exeunt Casimir into the Cavern. The rest on the opposite 
side. Scene changes to a splendid Chamber in Casimir' s 
Castle. Confederates discovered. 

First Confederate. 
It cannot but succeed, friends. From this palace 
E'en to the wood, our messengers are posted 
With such short interspace, that fast as sound 
Can travel to us, we shall learn the event ! 

Enter another Confederate. 
What tidings from Temeswar? 

Second Confederate. 'j' . 

With one voice 
Th' assembled chieftains have deposed the tyrant ; 
He is proclaimed the public enemy, 
And the protection of the law withdrawn. 

First Confederate. • , 

Just doom for him. who governs without law ! 
Is it known on whom the sov'reignty will fall ? 



Z A POLY A. 307 



Second Confederate. 
Nothing is yet decided : but report 
Points to Lord Casimir. The grateful memory 
Of his renowned father 

Enter Sarolta. 

Hail to Sarolta l 
Sarolta. 
Confederate friends ! I bring to you a joy 
Worthy your noble cause ! Kiuprili lives, 
And from his obscure exile hath returned 
To bless our country. More and greater tidings 
Might I disclose ; but that a woman's voice 
Would mar the wondrous tale. Wait we for him, 
The partner of the glory — Raab Kiuprili ; 
For he alone is worthy to announce it. 

[Shouts of ' Kiuprili, Kiuprili,' and 'The Tyrant's fallen/ 
without. Then enter Kiuprili, Casimir, Rudolph, 
• xTHORY, and Attendants, after the clamor has subsided. 

Raab Kiuprili. 
Spa*-e ye L your joy, my friends ! A higher waits you: 
Behold, your Queen! 

Enter from opposite side, Zapolya and Andreas, royally atthcd, 
with Glycine. 

Confederates. 
Comes she from heaven to bless us ? 

Other Confederates. 
It is ! it is ! 

Zapolya. 
Heaven's work of grace is full ! 
Kiuprili, thou art safe ! 

Raab Kiuprili. 

Royal Zapolya ! 
To the heavenly powers pay we our duty first ; 
Who not alone preserved thee, but for thee 
And for our country, the one precious branch 
Of Andreas' royal house. O countrymen, 
Behold your King ! And thank our country's genius, 
That the same means which have preserved our sovereign. 
Have likewise reared him worthier of the throne 
By virtue than by birth. The undoubted proofs 
Pledged by his royal mother, and this old man 



(Whose name henceforth be dear to all Illyrians), 
We haste to lay before the assembled council. 

All. 
Hail, Andreas ! Hail, Illyria's rightful king! 

Andreas. 
Supported thus, O friends ! 'twere cowardice 
Unworthy of a royal birth, to shrink 
From the appointed charge. Yet, while we wait 
The awful sanction of convened Illyria, 
In this brief while, let me feel myself 
The child, the friend, the debtor ! — Heroic mother !— 
But what can breath add to that sacred name ? 
Kiuprili ! gift of Providence, to teach us 
That loyalty is but the public form 
Of the sublimest friendship, let my youth 
Climb round thee, as the vine around its elm : 
Thou my support, and i" thy faithful fruitage. 
My heart is full, and these poor words express not, 
They are but an art to check its overswelling. 
Bathory ! shrink not from my filial arms ! 
Now, and from henceforth, thou shalt not forbid me 
To call thee father ! And dare I forget 
The powerful intercession of thy virtue, 
Lady Sarolta ! Still acknowledge me 
Thy faithful soldier ! — But what invocation 
Shall my full soul address to thee, Glycine : 
Thou sword that leap'st forth from a bed of roses : 
Thou falcon-hearted dove ? 

Zapolya. 

Hear that from me, son ! 
For ere she lived, her father saved thy life, 
Thine, and thy fugitive mother's ! 

Casimir. 

Chef Ragozzi ! 
O shame upon my head I I would have given her 
To a base slave ! 

Zapolya. 

Heaven overruled thy purpose, 

And sent an angel {pointing to Sarolta) to thy house to guard 

her ; 
Thou precious bark I freighted with all our treasures ! 

[to Andreas, 



Z A POLY A. 309 



The sport of tempests, and yet ne'er the victim, 
How many may claim salvage in thee ! 

{pointing to Glycine.) Take her, son ! 
A queen that brings with her a richer dowry 
Than orient kings can give ! 

Sarolta. 

A banquet waits ! — 
On this auspicious day, for some few hours 
I claim to be your hostess. Scenes so awful 
With flashing light, force wisdom on us all ! 
E'en women at the distaff hence may see, 
That bad men may rebel, but ne'er be free ; 
May whisper, when the waves of faction foam, 
None love their country, but who love their home : 
For freedom can with those alone abide, 
Who wear the golden chain, with honest pride, 
Of love and duty, at their own fire-side : 
While mad ambition ever doth caress 
Its own sure fate, in its own restlessness I 



REMORSE. 
A TRAGEDY. 

IN FIVE ACTS. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 

Marquis Valdez, Father to the two brothers, and Donna Teresa's Guardian. 

Don Alvar, the eldest son. 

Don Ordonio, the youngest son. 

Monviedro, a Dominican and Inquisitor. 

Zulimez, the faithful attendant on Alvar. 

Isidore, a Moresco Chieftain, ostensibly a Christian. 

Familiars of the Inquisition. 

Naomi. 

Moors, Servants, &c. 

Donna Teresa, an Orphan Heiress. 

Alhadra, Wife to Isidore. 

Time.— The reign of Philip IT., just at the close of the civil wars against the Moor?, 
and during the heat of the persecution which raged against them, shortly after the 
edict which forbade the wearing of Moresco apparel under pain of death. 



ACT I.— SCENE I. 

The Sea-shore on the Coast of Granada. 

Don Alvar, wrapt in a Boat cloak, and Zulimez {a Moresco), both 
as just landed. 

Zulimez. 
No sound, no face of joy to welcome us ! 

Alvar. 
My faithful Zulimez, for one brief moment 
Let me forget my anguish and their crimes. 
If aught on earth demand an unmixed feeling, 
'Tis surely this — after long years of exile, 
To step forth on firm land, and gazing round us, 
To hail at once our country, and our birth-place. 
Hail, Spain ! Granada, hail ! once more I press 
Thy sands with filial awe, land of my fathers I 

OT , 



REMORSE. 3 n 



ZULIMEZ. 

Then claim your rights in it ! 0, revered Don Alvar, 

Yet, yet give up your all too gentle purpose. 

It is too hazardous ! reveal yourself. 

And let the guilty meet the doom of guilt ! 

Alvar. 
Remember. Zulimez ! I am his brother, 
Injured indeed ! O deeply injured ! yet 
Ordonio's brother. 

Zulimez. 
Nobly-minded Alvar ! 
This sure but gives his guilt a blacker dye. 

Alvar. 
The more behoves it, I should rouse within him 
Remorse ! that I should save him from himself. 

Zulimez. 

Remorse is as the heart in which it grows ; 
If that be gentle, it drops balmy dews 
Of true repentance ; but if proud and gloomy, 
It is a poison-tree, that pierced to the inmost 
Weeps only tears of poison ! . 

Alvar. 
And of a brother, 
Dare I hold this, unproved ? nor make one effort 
To save him ? — Hear me, friend ! I have yet to tell thee, 
That this same life, which he conspired to take, 
Himself once rescued from the angry flood, 
And at the imminent hazard of his own. 
Add too my oath — 

Zulimez. 
You have thrice told already 
The years of absence and of secrecy, 
To which a forced oath bound you ; if in truth 
A suborned murderer have the power to dictate 
A binding oath — 

Alvar. 

My long captivity 
Left me no choice : the very Wish too languished 
With the fond Hope that nursed it ; the sick babe 
Drooped at the bosom of its famished mother. 



3 1 2 COLE RID GE'S POEMS. 

But (more than all) Teresa's perfidy ; 
The assassin's strong .assurance, when no interest, 
No motive could have tempted him to falsehood ; 
In the first pangs of his awakened conscience, 
When with abhorrence of his own black purpose 
The murderous weapon, pointed at my breast, 
y?ell from his palsied hand — 

ZULIMEZ. 

Heavy presumption I 

Alvar. 
It weighed not with me — Hark ! I will tell thee all : 
As we passed by, I bade thee mark the base 
Of yonder cliff — 

Zulimez. 
That rocky seat you mean, 
Shaped by the billows ? — 

Alvar. 

There Teresa met me 
The morning of the day of my departure. 
We were alone : the purple hue of dawn, 
Fell from the kindling east aslant upon us, 
And blending with the blushes on her cheek 
Suffused the tear-drops there with rosy light. 
There seemed a glory round us, and Teresa 
The angel of the vision ! [then with agitation, 

Hadst thou seen 
How in each motion her most innocent soul 
Beamed forth and brightened, thou thyself would'st tell me, 
Guilt is a thing impossible in her ! 
She must be innocent ! 

Zulimez. (with a sigh.) 
Proceed, my Lord ! 

Alvar. 
fk portrait which she had procured by stealth 
(For even then it seems her heart foreboded 
Or knew Ordonio's moody rivalry), 
A portrait of herself with thrilling hand 
She tied around my neck conjuring me, 
With earnest prayers, that I would keep it sacred 
To my own knowledge : nor did she desist, 




Till she had won a solemn promise from me. 
That (save my own) no eye should e'er behold it 
Till my return. Yet this the assassin knew, 
Knew that which none but she could have disclosed, 

Zulimez. 
A damning proof ! 

Alvar. 
My own life wearied me ! 
And but for the imperative Voice within 
With mine own hand I had thrown off the burthen. 
That Voice, which quelled me, calmed me : and I sought 
The Belgic states : there joined the better cause ; 
And there too fought as one that courted death ! 
Wounded, I fell among the dead and dying, 
In death-like trance : a long imprisonment followed. 
The fulness of my anguish by degrees 
Waned to a meditative melancholy ; 
And still the more I mused, my soul became 
More doubtful, more perplexed ; and still Teresa, 
Night after night, she visited my sleep, 
Now as a saintly sufferer, wan and tearful, 
Now as a saint in glory beckoning to me ! 
Yes, still as in contempt of proof and reason, 
I cherish the fond faith that she is guiltless ! 
Hear then my fixed resolve : I'll linger here 
In the disguise of a Moresco chieftain. — 
The Moorish robes ? — 

Zulimez. 
All, all are in the sea-cave, 
Some furlong hence. I bade our mariners 
Secrete the boat there. 

Alvar. 
Above all, the picture 
Of the assassination — 

Zulimez. 
Be assured 
That it remains uninjured. 

Alvar. 

Thus disguised, 
I will first seek to meet Ordonio's — wife f 
If possible, alone too. This was her wonted walk» 
And this the hour ; her words, her very looks, 
V/ill acquit her or convict. 



3 1 4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

. . — _ ' — » 

ZULIMEZ. 

Will they not know you ? 

Alvar. 
With your aid, friend, I shall unfearingly 
Trust the disguise ; and as to my complexion, 
My long imprisonment, the scanty food, 
This scar, and toil beneath a burning sun, 
Have done already half the business for us. 
Add too my youth, when last we saw each other. 
Manhood has swoln my chest, and taught my yoioe 
A hoarser note — Besides, they think me dead : 
And what the mind believes impossible, 
The bodily sense is slow to recognize. 

Zulimez. 
'Tis yours, sir, to command, mine to obey. 
Now to the cave beneath the vaulted rock, 
Where having shaped you to a Moorish chieftain, 
I'll seek our mariners ; and in the dusk 
Transport whate'er we need to the small dell 
In the Alpuxarras — there where Zagri lived. 

Alvar. 
I know it well : it is the obscurest haunt 
Of all the mountains- - [Both stand listening. 

Voices at a distance I 
Let us away ! [Exeunt. 

SCENE II. 

Enter Teresa and Valdez. 
Teresa. 
I hold Ordonio dear ; he is your son, 
And Alvar's brother. 

Valdez. 
Love him for himself, 
Nor make the living wretched for the dead. 

Teresa. 
I mourn that you should plead in vain, Lord Valdez, 
But Heaven hath heard my vow, and I remain 
Faithful to Alvar, be he dead or living. 

Valdez. 
Heaven knows with what delight I saw your loves, 
And could my heart's blood give him back to thee 



REMORSE. 3.15 



I would die smiling. But these are idle thoughts ! 

Thy dying father comes upon my soul 

With that same look, with which he gave thee to me ; 

I held thee in my arms a powerless babe, 

While thy poor mother with a mute entreaty 

Fixed her faint eyes on mine. Ah not for this, 

That I should let thee feed thy soul with gloom, 

And with slow anguish wear away thy life, 

The victim of a useless constancy. 

I must not see thee wretched. 

Teresa. 

There are woes 
111 bartered for the garish n ess of joy ! 
If it be wretched with an untired eye 
To watch those skyey tints, and this green ocean ; 
Or in the sultry hour beneath some rock, 
My hair dishevelled by the pleasant sea breeze. 
To shape sweet visions, and live o'er again 
All past hours of delight ! if it be wretched 
To watch some bark, and fancy Alvar there, 
To go through each minutest circumstance 
Of the blest meeting, and to frame adventures 
Most terrible and strange, .and hear him tell them j 
*(As once I knew a crazy Moorish maid, 
Who drest her in her buried lover's clothes, 
And o'er the smooth spring in the mountain-cleft 
Hung with her lute, and played the self-same tune 
He used to play, and listened to the shadow 
Herself had made) — if this be wretchedness, 
And if indeed it be a wretched thing 
To trick out mine own death-bed, and imagine 
That I had died, died just ere his return ! 
Then see him listening to my constancy, 
Or hover round, as he at midnight oft 
Sits on my grave and gazes at the moon ; 
Or haply in some more fantastic mood, 
To be in Paradise, and with choice flowers . 
Build up a bower where he and I might dwell, 
And there to wait his coming ! O my sire ! 
My Alvar's sire ! if this be wretchedness 
That eats away the life, what were it, think you, 
If in a most assured reality 



* [Here Valdez bends back, and smiles at her wildness, which Teresa noticing 
checks her enthusiasm, and in a soothing half-playful ton** and manner apologizes for 
her fancy, by the little tale in the parenthesis.] 



3 1 6 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



He should return, and see a brother's infant 

Smile at him from my arms ? 

Oh what a thought ! [Clasping her forehead 

Valdez. 
A thought ? even so ! mere thought ! an empty thought. 
The very week he promised his return 

Teresa, {abruptly.) 
Was it not then a busy joy ? to see him, 
After those three years' travels ! we had no fears — 
The frequent tidings, the ne'er failing letter, 
Almost endeared his absence ! Yet the gladness, 
The tumult of our joy ! What then if now 

Valdez. 

power of youth to feed on pleasant thoughts, 
Spite of conviction ! I am old and heartless ! 
Yes, I am old — I have no pleasant fancies — 
Hectic and unrefreshed with rest— 

Teresa, {with great tenderness.) 
My father I 
Valdez. 
The sober truth is all too much for me ! 

1 see no sail which brings not to my mind 

The home-bound bark in which my son was captured 
By the Algerine— to perish with his captors ! 

Teresa. 
Oh no ! he did not ! 

Valdez. 
Captured in sight of land ! 
From yon hill point, nay, from our castle watch-tower 

We might have seen 

Teresa. 
His capture, not his death. 

Valdez. 
Alas ! how aptly thou forget'st a tale 
Thou ne'er didst wish to learn ! my brave Ordonio 
Saw both the pirate and his prize go down, 
In the same storm that baffled his own valor, 
And thus twice snatched a brother from his hopes : 
Gallant Ordonio ! (pauses, then tenderly) beloved Teresa, 
Would'st thou best prove thy faith to generous Alvar, 
And most delight his spirit, go, make thou 



REMORSE. 317 



His brother happy, make his aged father 
Sink to the grave in joy. 

Teresa. 
For mercy's sake 
Press me no more I I have no power to love him. 
His proud forbidding eye, and his dark brow, 
Chill me like dew damps of the unwholesome night: 
My love, a timorous and tender flower, 
Closes beneath his touch. 

Valdez. 
You wrong him, maiden f 
You wrong hjm, by my soul ! Nor was it well 
To character by such unkindly phrases 
The stir and workings of that love for you 
Which he has toiled to smother. 'Twas not w 
Nor is it grateful in you to forget 
His wounds and perilous voyages, and how 
With an heroic fearlessness of danger 
He roamed the coast of Afric for your Alvar. 
It is not well — You have moved me even to tears. 

Teresa. 
Oh pardon me, Lord Valdez ! pardon me ! 
It was a foolish and ungrateful speech, 
A most ungrateful speech ! But I am hurried 
Beyond myself, if I but hear of one 
Who aims to rival Alvar. Were we not 
Born in one day, like twins of the same parent ? 
Nursed in one cradle ? Pardon me, my father ! 
A six years' absence is a heavy thing, 
Yet still the hope survives 

Valdez. {looking forward.) 

Hush ! 'tis Monviedro. 

Teresa. 
The Inquisitor ! on what new scent of blood ? 

Enter Monviedro with Alhadra. 
Monviedro. {having first made his obeisance to Valdez and 

Teresa. 
Peace and the truth be with you ! Good my lord, 
My present need is with your son. [Looking forward. 

We have hit the time. Here comes he ! Yes, 'tis he. 



3 * 8 COLE RID GE '$ POEMS. 

— . . — — _____ ■» 

Enter from the opposite side Don Ordonio. 
My Lord Ordonio, this Moresco woman 
(Alhadra is her name) asks audience of you. 

Ordonio. 
Hail, reverend father ! what may be the business ? 

Monviedro. 
My lord, on strong suspicion of relapse 
To his false creed, so recently abjured, 
The secret servants of the Inquisition 
Have seized her husband, and at my command 
To the supreme tribunal would have led him, 
But that he made appeal to you, my lord, 
As surety for his soundness in the faith. 
Though lessened by experience what small trust 
The asseverations of these Moors deserve, 
Yet still the deference to Ordonio's name, 
Nor less the wish to prove, with what high honor 
The Holy Church regards her faithful soldiers 
Thus far prevailed with me that 

Ordonio. 

Reverend father, 
I am much beholden to your high opinion, 

Which so o'erprizes my light services. [Then to ALHADRA. 

1 would that I could serve you ; but in truth 
Your face is new to me. 

Monviedro. 
My mind foretold me 
That such would be the event. In truth, Lord Valdez, 
'Twas little probable, that Don Ordonio, 
That your illustrious son, who fought so bravely 
Some four years since to quell those rebel Moors, 
Should prove the patron of this infidel ! 
The guarantee of a Moresco's faith ! 
Now I return. 

Alhadra. 
My Lord, my husband's name 

Is Isidore. (Ordonio starts.) — You may remember it : 
Three years ago, three years this very week, 
You left him at Almeria. 

Monviedro. 
Palpably false ! 



REMORSE. 319 



This very week, three years ago, my lord 
(You needs must recollect it by your wound), 
You were at sea, and there engaged the pirates, 
The murderers doubtless of your brother Alvar ! 

[Teresa looks at Monviedro with disgust and horror. 
Ordonio's appearance to be collected from what folloios* 

Monviedro. (to Valdez and pointing at Ordonio.) 
What, is he ill, my Lord ? how strange he looks ! 

Valdez. {angrily.) 
You pressed upon him too abruptly, father ! 
The fate of one, on whom, you know, he doted. 

Ordonio. {starting as in sudden agitation.) 

Heavens ! / ? — / doted ? (then recovering himself.) 
Yes ! I doted on him. 

[Ordonio walks to the end of the stage, Valdez follows % 
soothing him. 

Teresa, (her eye following Ordonio.) 

1 do not, cannot, love him. Is my heart hard ? 
Is my heart hard ? that even now the thought 
Should force itself upon me ? — Yet I feel it ! 

Monviedro. 
The drops did start and stand upon his forehead ! 
I will return. In very truth, I grieve 
To have been the occasion. Ho ! attend me, woman ! 

Alhadra. (to Teresa.) 
O gentle lady ! make the father stay, 
Until my lord recover. I am sure, 
That he will say he is my husband's friend. 

Teresa. 
Stay, father ! stay ! my lord will soon recover. 

Ordonio. (as they return, to Valdez.) 
Strange, that this Monviedro 
Should have the power so to distemper me ! 

Valdez. 
Nay, 'twas an amiable weakness, son ! 

Monviedro. 
My lord, I truly grieve— 



320 COLE RID GE 'S POEMS. 

Ordonio. 

Tut ! name it not. 
A sudden seizure, father ! think not of it. 
As to this woman's husband, I do know him, 
I know him well, and that he is a Christian. 

Monviedro. 
I hope, my lord, your merely human pity 
Doth not prevail 

Ordonio. 
'Tis certain that he was a catholic ; 
What changes may have happened in three years, 
I cannot say ; but grant me this, good father : 
Myself I'll sift him : if I find him sound, 
You'll grant me your authority and name 
To liberate his house. 

Monviedro. 
Your zeal, my lord, 
And your late merits in this holy warfare, 
Would authorize an ampler trust — you have it. 

Ordonio. 
I will attend you home within an hour. 

Valdez. 
Meantime return with us and take refreshment. 

Alhadra. 
Not till my husband's free ! I may not do it. 
I will stay here. 

Teresa, {aside.) 
Who is this Isidore ? 

Valdez. 
Daughter ! 

Teresa. 
With your permission, my dear lord, 
I'll loiter yet awhile t'enjoy the sea-breeze. 

[Exeunt Valdez, Monviedro, and Ordonia 

Alhadra. 
fla ! there he goes ! a bitter curse go with him, 



REMORSE. 321 



A scathing curse ! 

[ Then, as if recollecting herself, and with a timid look % 
You hate him, don't you, lady ? 

Teresa, (perceiving that Alhadra is conscious she has spoken 
imprudently.) 

fear not me ! my heart is sad for you. 

Alhadra. 
These fell inquisitors ! these sons of blood 1 
As I came on, his face so maddened me, 
That ever and anon I clutched my dagger 
And half unsheathed it — 

Teresa. 
Be more calm, I pray you. 

Alhadra. 
And as he walked along the narrow path 
Close by the mountain's edge, my soul grew eager : 
'Twas with hard toil I made myself remember 
That his Familiars held my babes and husband. 
To have leapt upon him with a tiger's plunge, 
And hurled him down the rugged precipice, 
O, it had been most sweet ! 

Teresa. 

Hush ! hush for shame ! 
Where is your woman's heart ? 

Alhadra. 

O gentle lady ! 
You have no skill to guess my many wrongs, 
Many and strange ! Besides {ironically), I am a Christian, 
And Christians never pardon — 'tis their faith ! 

Teresa. 
Shame fall on those who so have shown it to thee ! 

Alhadra. 

1 know that man : 'tis well he knows not me. 
Five years ago (and he was the prime agent), 
Five years ago the holy brethren seized me. 

Teresa. 
What might your crime be ? 

21 



322 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Alhadra. 

I was a Moresco ! 
They east me, then a young and nursing mother, 
Into a dungeon of their prison-house, 
Where was no bed, no fire, no ray of light, 
JS r o touch, no sound of comfort ! The black air, 
It was a toil to breathe it ! when the door, 
Slow opening at the appointed hour, disclosed 
One human countenance, the lamp's red flame 
Cowered as it entered, and at once sunk down. 
Oh miserable ! by that lamp to see 
My infant quarrelling with the coarse hard bread 
Brought daily : for the little wretch was sickly — 
My rage had dried away its natural food. 
In darkness I remained — the dull bell counting, 
Which haply told me, that the all-cheering Sun 
Was rising on our Garden. When I dozed, 
My infant's moanings mingled with my slumbers 
And waked me.— If you were a mother, lady, 
I should scarce dare to tell you, that its noises 
And peevish cries so fretted on my brain 
That I have struck the innocent babe in anger. 

Teresa. 

Heaven ! it is too horrible to hear. 

Alhadra. 
What was it then to suffer ? 'Tis most right 
That such as you should hear it. — Know you not, 
What Nature makes you mourn, she bids you heal? 
Great Evils ask great Passions to redress them, 
And Whirlwinds fitliest scatter Pestilence. 

Teresa. 
You were at length released ? 

Alhadra. 

Yes, at length 

1 saw the blessed arch of the whole heaven 1 
'Twas the first time my infant smiled. No more— 
For if I dwell upon that moment, Lady, 

A trance comes on which makes me o'er again 
All I then was — my knees hang loose and drag, 
And my lip falls with such an idiot laugh, 
That you would start and shudder I 



REMORSE. 3 2 3 



Teresa. 

But your husband— 
Alhadra. 
A. month's imprisonment would kill him, Lady. 

Teresa. 
Alas, poor man ! 

Alhadra. 
He hath a lion's courage, 
Fearless in act, but feeble in endurance ; 
Unfit for boisterous times, with gentle heart 
He worships nature in the hill and valley, 
Not knowing what he loves, but loves it all — 
Enter Alvar disguised as a Moresco, and in Moorish garments. 

Teresa. 
Know you that stately Moor ? 

Alhadra. 

I know him not ! 
But doubt not he is some Moresco chieftain, 
Who hides himself among the Alpuxarras. 

Teresa. 
The Alpuxarras ? Does he know his danger, 
So near this seat ? 

Alhadra. 
He wears the Moorish robes too, 
As in defiance of the royal edict. 

[Alhadra advances to Alvar, who has walked to tht back 0/ 
the stage, near the rocks. Teresa drops her veil. 

Alhadra. 
Gallant Moresco ! an Inquisitor, 
Monviedro, of known hatred to our race 

Alvar. (interrupting her.) 
You have mistaken me. I am a Christian. 

Alhadra. 
He deems, that we are plotting to ensnare him : 
Speak to him, Lady — none can hear you speak, 
And not believe you innocent of guile. 

Teresa. 
If aught enforce you to concealment, Sir — 



324 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Alhadra. 
He trembles strangely. 

[Alvar sinks down and hides his face in his robe* 

Teresa. 
See, we have disturbed him. 

[approaches nearer to him. 
i pray you think us friends — uncowl your face, 
For you seem faint, and the night breeze blows healing. 
I pray you think us friends ! 

Alvar. (raising his head.) 
Calm, very calm ! 
Tis all too tranquil for reality ! 
And she spoke to me with her innocent voice, 
That voice, that innocent voice ! She is no traitress ! 

Teresa, 
Let us retire, (haughtily to Alhadra.) 

[They advance to the front of the Stage. 

Alhadra. (with scorn.) 
He is indeed a Christian. 

Alvar. (aside.)* 
She deems me dead, yet wears no mourning garment ! 
Why should my brother's — wife — wear mourning garments? 

(To Teresa.) 
Your pardon, noble dame ! that I disturbed you : 
I had just started from a frightful dream. 

Teresa. 

Dreams tell but of the past, and yet, 'tis said, 
They prophesy — 

Alvar. 
The Past lives o'er again 
In its effects, and to the guilty spirit 
The ever-frowning Present is its image. 

Teresa. 

Traitress I then aside.) 

What sudden spell o'ermasters me ? 
Why seeks ne me, shunning the Moorish woman ? 

! Teresa <nhs round uneasily, but gradually becomes atten- 
tive as Alvar proceeds in the next speech. 



REMORSE. 325 



Alvar. 
I dreamt I had a friend, on whom I leant 
With blindest trust, and a betrothed maid, 
Whom I was wont to call not mine, but me ; 
For mine own self seemed nothing, lacking her. 
This maid so idolized that trusted friend 
Dishonored in my absence, soul and body ! 
Fear, following guilt, tempted to blacker guilt, 
And murderers were suborned against my life. 
But by my looks, and most impassioned words, 
I roused the virtues that are dead in no man, 
Even in the assassins' hearts ! they made their terms, 
And thanked me for redeeming them from murder. 

Alhadra. 
You are lost in thought : hear him no more, sweet Lady ? 

Teresa. 

From morn to night I am myself a dreamer, 
And slight things bring on me the idle mood ! 
Well, sir, what happened then ? 

Alvar. 

On a rude rock, 
A rock, methought, fast by a grove of firs, 
Whose thready leaves to the low-breathing gale 
Made a soft sound most like the distant ocean, 
I stayed, as though the hour of death were passed, 
And I were sitting in the world of spirits — 
For all things seemed unreal ! There I sate — 
The dews fell clammy, and the night descended, 
Black, sultry, close ! and ere the midnight hour 
A storm came on, mingling all sounds of fear, 
That woods, and sky, and mountains, seemed one haVoe. 
The second flash of lightning showed a tree, 
Hard by me, newly scathed. I rose tumultuous : 
My soul worked high, I bared my head to the storm, 
And with loud voice and clamorous agony 
Kneeling I prayed to the great Spirit that made me, 
Prayed, that Remorse might fasten on their hearts, 
And cling with poisonous tooth, inextricable 
As the gored lion's bite ! 

Teresa, {shuddering.) 
A fearful curse 1 



326 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Alhadra. {fiercely.) 
But dreamt you not that you returned and killed them ? 
Dreamt you of no revenge ? 

Alvar. {his voice trembling, and in tones of deep distress.) 

She would have died, 
Died in her guilt — perchance by her own hands ! 
And bending o'er her self-inflicted wounds, 
I might have met the evil glance of frenzy, 
And leapt myself into an un blest grave ! 
I prayed for the punishment that cleanses hearts : 
For still I loved her ! 

Alhadra. 
And you dreamt all this ? 
Teresa. 
My soul is full of visions all as wild ! 

Alhadra. 
There's no room in his heart for puling love tales. 

Teresa, (lifts up her veil and advances to Alvar.) 
Stranger, farewell ! I guess not who you are, 
Nor why you so addressed your tale to me. 
Your mien is noble, and I own, perplexed *me 
With obscure memory of something past, 
Which still escaped my efforts, or presented 
Tricks of a fancy pampered with long wishing. 
If, as it sometimes happens, our rude startling 
Whilst your full heart was shaping out its dream, 
Drove you to this, your not ungentle wildness — 
You have my sympathy, and so farewell ! 
But if some undiscovered wrongs oppress you, 
And you need strength to drag them into light, 
The generous Yaldez, and my Lord Ordonio, 
Have arm and will to aid a noble sufferer, 
Nor shall you want my favorable pleading. 

[Exeunt Teresa and Alhadra* 

Alvar. (alone.) 
'Tis strange ! It cannot be my Lord Ordonio ! 
Her Lord Ordonio ! Nay, 1 will not do it ! 
I cursed him once — and one curse is enough ! 
How sad she looked, and pale ! but not like guilt — 
And her calm tones — sweet as a song of mercy ! 
If the bad spirit retained his angel's voice, 
Hell scarce were Hell. And why not innocent ? 



REMORSE. 3 2 7 



Who meant to murder me, might well che.it her ? 

But ere she married him, he had stained her honor. 

All ! there I am hampered. What if this were a lie 

Framed by the assassin V Who should tell it him, 

If it were truth ? Ordonio would not tell him. 

Yet why one lie ? all else, I know, was truth. 

No start, no jealousy of stirring conscience ! 

And she referred to me— fondly, methought ! 

Could she walk here if she had been a traitress ? 

Here where we played together in our childhood ? 

Here where we plighted vows ? where her cold cheek 

Received my last kiss, when with suppressed feelings 

She had fainted in my arms ? It cannot be ! 

'Tis not in nature ! I will die believing, 

That I shall meet her where no evil is, 

No treachery, no cup dashed from the lips, 

I'll haunt this scene no more ! live she in peace ! 

Her husband — ay, her husband ! May this angel 

New mould his cankered heart ? Assist me, Heaven, 

That I may pray for my poor guilty brother. [Exit. 



ACT II.— SCENE I. 

A wild and mountainous Country. Ordonio and Isidore are 
discovered, supposed at a little distance from Isidore's house* 

Ordonio. 
Here we may stop : your house distinct in view, 
Yet we secured from listeners. 

Isidore. . 

Now indeed 
My house ! and it looks cheerful as the clusters 
Basking in sunshine on yon vine-clad rock, 
That over-brows it t Patron ! Friend ! Preserver ! 
Thrice have you saved my life. Once in the battle 
You gave it me : next rescued me from suicide 
When for my follies I was made to wander, 
With mouths to feed, and not a morsel for them : 
Now, but for you, a dungeon's slimy stones 
Had been my bed and pillow. 

Ordonio. 

Good Isidore t 
Why this to me ? It is enough, you know it. 



328 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Isidore. 
A common trick of Gratitude, my lord, 
Seeking to ease her own full heart 

Ordonio. 



Enough ! 



A debt repaid ceases to be a debt, 

You have it in your power to serve me greatly. 

Isidore. 
And how, my lord ? I pray you to name the thing. 
I would climb up an ice-glazed precipice 
To pluck a weed you fancied ! 

Ordonio. {with embarrassment and hesitation.) 
Why — that — Lady — ■ 

Isidore. 
'Tis now three years, my lord, since last I saw you: 
Have you a son, my lord ? 

Ordonio. 

O miserable— [aside 

Isidore ! you are a man, and know mankind. 
I told you what I wished — now for the truth — ■ 
She loved the man you killed. 

Isldore. {looking as suddenly alarmed.) 
You jest, my lord ? 
Ordonio. 
And till his death is proved she will not wed me. 

Isidore. 
You sport with me, my lord ? 

Ordonio. 

Come, come ! this fooler; 
Lives omy in thy looks, thy heart disowns it ! 

Isidore. 
I can bear this, and anything more grievous 
From you, my lord — but how can I serve you here ? 

Ordonio. 
Why you can utter with a solemn gesture 
Oracular sentences of deep no-meaning, 
Wear a quaint garment, make mysterious antics — 



REMORSE. 3 2 9 



Isidore. 
I am dull, my lord ! I do not comprehend you. 

Ordonio. 
In blunt terms, you can play the sorcerer. 
She hath no faith in Holy Church, 'tis true ; 
Her lover schooled her in some newer nonsense ! 
Yet still a tale of spirits works upon her. 
She'is a lone enthusiast, sensitive, 
Shivers, and cannot keep the tears in her eye : 
And such do love the marvellous too well 
.Not to believe it. We will wind up her fancy 
With a strange music, that she knows not of — 
With fumes of frankincense, and mummery, 
Then leave, as one sure token of his death, 
That portrait, which from off the dead man's neck 
I bade thee take, the trophy of thy conquest. 

Isidore. 
Will that be a sure sign ? 

Ordonio. 

Beyond suspicion. 
Fondly caressing him, her favored lover 
(By some base spell he had bewitched her senses), 
She whispered such dark fears of me forsooth, 
As made this heart pour gall into my veins. 
And as she coyly bound it round his neck 
She made him promise silence ; and now holds 
The secret of the existence of this portrait 
Known only to her lover and herself. 
But 1 had traced her, stolen unnoticed on them, 
And unsuspected saw and heard the whole. 

Isidore. 
But now I should have cursed the man who told me 
You could ask aught, my lord, and I refuse — 
But this I cannot do. 

Ordonio. 
Where lies your scruple ? 

Isidore, {with stammering*) 
Why — why, my lord 
You know you told me that the lady loved you, 
Had loved you with incautious tenderness ; 
That if the young man, her betrothed husband, 



33° COLERTDGE 'S POEMS. 

Returned, yourself, and she, and the honor of both 
Must perish. Now, though with no tenderer scruples 
Than those which being native to the heart, 
Than those, my lord, which merely being a man — 

Ordoivio. {aloud, though to express his contempt he speaks in th£ 

third person.) 
This Fellow is a Man — he killed for hire 
One whom he knew not, yet has tender scruples ! 

[ Then turning to Isidore. 
These doubts, these fears, thy whine, thy stammering — 
Pish, fool ! thou bl under 'st through the book of guilt, 
Spelling thy villany. 

Isidore. 
My lord— my lord, 
I can bear much — yes, very much from you ! 
But there's a point where sufferance is meanness ; 
I am no villain — never killed for hire — 
My gratitude — 

Ordonio. 
O ay— your gratitude ! 
'Twas a well-sounding word— what have you done with it? 

Isidore. 
Who proffers his past favors for my virtue — 

Ordonio. (with bitter scorn.) 

Isidore, 
Tries to o'erreach me — is a very sharper, 
And should not speak of gratitude, my lord, 
I knew not 'twas your brother ! 

Ordonio- (alarmed ) 

And who told you ? 
Isidore. 
He himself told me. 

Ordonio. 
Ha! you talked with him ! 
And those, the two Morescoes who were with you ? 

Isidore. 
Both fell in a night brawl at Malaga. 

Ordonio. (in a low mice.) 

My brother— 



REMORSE. 33t 



Isidore. 
Yes, my lord, I could not tell you ! 
I thrust away the thought — it drove me wild. 
But listen to me now— 1 pray you listen 

Ordonio. 
Villain ! no more. I'll hear no more of it. 

Isidore. 
My lord, it much imports your future safety 
That you should hear it. 

Ordonio. {turning off from Isidore.) 
Am not / a Man ? 
'Tis as it should be ! tut — the deed itself 
Was idle, and these after-jmngs still idler ! 

Isidore. 
We met him in the very place you mentioned, 
Hard by a grove of firs — 

Ordonio. 

Enough — enough — 

Isidore. 
He fought us valiantly, and wounded all ; 
In fine, compelled a parley. 

Ordonio. {sighing, an if lost in thought.) 
Alvar ! brother I 

Isidore. 
He offered me his purse — 

Ordonio. {with eager suspicion.) 

Yes? 

Isidore, {indignantly.) 

Yes — I spurned it.— 
He promised us I know not what — in vain ! 
Then with a look and voice that overawed me, 
He said, What mean you, friends ? My life is dear : 
I have a brother and a promised wife, 
Who make life dear to me — and if I fall, 
That brother will roam earth and hell for vengeance. 
There was a likeness in his face to yours : 
I asked his brother's name : he said — Ordonio, 
Son of Lord Valdez ! I had well nigh fainted. 
At length 1 said (if that indeed 1 said it, 



33* COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

- ; — i 

And that no Spirit made my tongue its organ), 

That woman is dishonored by that brother. 

And he the man who sent ns to destroy you. 

He drove a thrust at me in rage. I told him 

lie wore her portrait round his neck. Ho looked 

As he had been made of the rock that propt his back — 

Ay, just as you look now — only less ghastly !, 

At length recovering from his trance, he threw 

His sword away, and bade us take his life, 

It was not worth his keeping. 

Ordonio. 

And you killed him ? 
Oh blood-hounds ! may eternal wrath flame round you I 
He was his Maker's Image undefaced! [a pause. 

It seizes me — by Hell I will go on ! 

What — would'st thou stop, man ? thy pale looks won't save 
thee! [a pause. 

Oh cold — cold — cold ! shot through with icy cold ! 

Isidore, {aside.) 
Were he alive he had returned ere now. 
The consequence the same — dead through his plotting ? 

Ordonio. 
O this unutterable dying away — here — 
This sickness of the heart I [a pause. 

What if I went 
And lived in a hollow tomb, and fed on weeds ? 
Ay ! that's the road to heaven ! O fool ! fool ! fool ! [a pause. 
What have I done but that which nature destined, 
Or the blind elements stirred up within me ? 
If good were meant, why were we made these Beings ? 
And if not meant — 

Isidore. 
You are disturbed, my lord ! 

Ordonio. (starts, looks at him wildly : then, after a pause, during 

which his features are forced into a smile.) 
A gust of the soul ! i 'faith, it overset me. 
O 'twas all folly — all ! idle as laughter ! 
Now, Isidore ! I swear that thou shalt aid me. 

Isidore, (in a low voice.) „ 
I'll perish first ! 

Ordonio. 
What dost thou mutter of? 



REMORSE. 33.$ 



Isidore. 
Some of your servants know me, I am certain. 

Ordonio. 
There's some sense in that scruple ; but we'll mask you. 

Isidore. 
They'll know my gait : but stay 1 last night I watched 
A stranger near the ruin in the wood, 
Who as it seemed was gathering herbs and wild flowers. 
I had followed him at distance, seen him scale 
Its western wall, and by an easier entrance 
Stol'n after him unnoticed. There I marked, 
That mid the checker- work of light and shade 
With curious choice he plucked no other flowers, 
But those on which the moonlight fell : and once 
I heard him muttering o'er the plant. A Wizard — 
Some gaunt slave prowling here for dark employment. 

Ordonio. 
Doubtless you questioned him ? 

Isidore. 

'Twas my intentioB, 
Having first traced him homeward to his haunt. 
But lo ! the stern Dominican, whose spies 
Lurk everywhere, already (as it seemed) 
Mad given commission to his apt familiar 
To seek and sound the Moor ; who now returning, 
Was by this trusty agent stopped midway. 
I, dreading fresh suspicion if found near him. 
In that lone place, again concealed myself : 
Yet within hearing. So the Moor was questioned, 
And in your name, as lord of this domain, 
Proudly he answered, ' Say to the Lord Ordonio, 
1 He that can bring the dead to life again ! ' 

Ordonio. 
A strange reply ! 

Isidore. 
Ay, all of him is strange. 
He called himself a Christian, yet he wears 
The Moorish robes, as if he courted death. 

Ordonio. 
Where does this wizard live ? 



334 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Isidore, {'pointing to the distance.) 

You see that brooklet ? 
Trace its course backward : through a narrow opening 
It leads you to the place. 

Ordonio. 

How shall I know it ? 

Isidore. 
You cannot err. It is a small green dell 
Built all around with high off-sloping hills, 
And from its shape our peasants aptly call it 
The Giant's Cradle. There's a lake in the midst, 
And round its banks tall wood that branches over, 
And makes a kind of faery forest grow 
Down in the water. At the further end 
A puny cataract falls on the lake ; 
And there, a curious sight ! you see its shadow 
Forever curling, like a wreath of smoke, 
Up through the foliage of those faery trees. 
His cot stands opposite. You cannot miss it. 

Ordonio. (in retiring stops suddenly at the edge of the scenct 

and then turning round to Isidore.) 
ITa ! —Who lurks there ? Have we been overheard ? 
There where the smooth high wall of slate-rock glitters — 

Isidore. 
'Neath those tall stones, which propping each the other, 
Form a mock portal with their pointed arch? 
Pardon my smiles ? 'Tis a poor Idiot Boy, 
Who sits in the Sun, and twirls a bough about, 
His weak eyes are seethed in most unmeaning tears. 
And so he sits, swaying his cone-like Head, 
And staring at his Bough from Morn to Sun-set 
See-saws his Voice in inarticulate Noises. 

Ordonio. 
'Tis well ! and now for this same Wizard's Lair. 

Isidore. 
Some three strides up the hill, a mountain ash, 
Stretches its lower boughs and scarlet clusters 
O'er the old thatch. 

Ordonio. 
I shall not fail to find it. 

[Exeunt Ordonio av^ Ttftlore, 



REMORSE. 335 



SCENE II. 

The inside of a Cottage, around which flowers and plants of vari- 
ous kinds are seen. Discovers Alvar, Zulimez, and Alhadra, 
as on the point of leaving. 

Alhadra. {addressing Alvar.) 
Farewell then ! and though many thoughts perplex me. 
Aught evil or ignoble never can I 
Suspect of thee ! If what thou seem'st thou art, 
The oppressed brethren of thy blood have need 
Of such a leader. 

Alvar. . 
Nobly-minded woman ! 
Long time against oppression have I fought, 
And for the native liberty of faith 
Have bled and suffered bonds. Of this be certain : 
Time, as he courses onward, still unrolls 
The volume of Concealment. In the Future, 
As in the optician's glassy cylinder, 
The indistinguishable blots and colors 
Of the dim Past collect and shape themselves, 
Upstarting in their own completed image 
To scare or to reward. . 

I sought the guilty, 
And what I sought I found : but ere the spear 
Flew from my hand, there rose an angel form 
Betwixt me and my aim. With baffled purpose, 
To the Avenger I leave Vengeance, and depart ! 
Whate'er betide, if aught my arm may aid, 
Or power protect, my word is pledged to thee : 
For many are thy wrongs, and thy soul noble. 
Once more farewell. [Exit Alhadra, 

Yes, to the Belgic states 
We will return. These robes, this stained complexion, 
Akin to falsehood, weigh upon my spirit. 
Whate'er befall us, the heroic Maurice 
Will grant us an asylum, in remembrance 
Of our past services. 

Zulimez. 
And all the wealth, power, influence which is yours, 
You let a murderer hold 

Alvar. 

O faithful Zulimez ! 
That my return involved Ordonio's death, 



33° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

I trust, would give me an unmingled pang, 

Yet bearable : — but when I see my father 

Strewing his scant gray hairs, e'en on the ground, 

Which soon must be his grave, and my Teresa — 

Her husband proved a murderer, and her infants 

His infants — poor Teresa : — all would perish, . 

All perish — all ! and 1 (uay bear with me) 

Could not survive the complicated ruin ! 

Zulimez. {much affected.) 
Nay now ! I have distressed you — you well know, 
I ne'er will quit your fortunes. True, 'tis tiresome ! 
You are a painter,* one of many fancies ! 
You can call up past deeds, and make them live 
On the blank canvas ; and each little herb, 
That grows on mountain bleak, or tangled forest, 

You have learnt to name 

Hark ! heard you not some footsteps ? 

Alvar. 
What if it were my brother coming onwards ? 
I sent a most mysterious message to him. 

Enter Ordonio.. 

Alvar. {starting.) 
It is he ! 

Ordonio. {to himself as he enters.) 
If I distinguished right her gait and stature, 
It was the Moorish woman, Isidore's wife, 
That passed me as I entered. A lit taper, 
In the night air, doth not more naturally 
Attract the night flies around it, than a conjurer 
Draws round him the whole female neighborhood. 

[Addressing Alvar. 
You know my name, I guess, if not my person. 
I am Ordonio, son of the Lord Valdez. 

Alvar. (with deep emotion.) 
The Son of Valdez ! 

Ordonio walks leisurely round the room, and looks attentively at 

the plants. 

Zulimez. (to Alvar.) 

Why what ails you now? 
How your hand trembles ! Alvar, speak ! what wish you? 

* Vide Appendix. 



REMORSE. 33' 



Alvar. 
To fall upon his neck and weep forgiveness ! 

Ordonio. (returning, and aloud.) 
Plucked in the moonlight from a ruined abbey— 
Those only, which the pale rays visited ! 
O the unintelligible power of weeds, 

When a few odd prayers have been muttered o'er them: 
Then they work miracles ! 1 warrant you, 
There's not a leaf but underneath it lurks 
Some serviceable imp. 

There's one of you 
Hath sent me a strange message. 

Alvar. 

I am he. 

Ordonio. 
With you, then, I am to speak : 

( Haughtily waving his hand to Zulimez.) 
And mark you, alone. [Exit Zulimez 

' He that can bring the dead to life again ! ' — 
Such was your message, sir ! You are no dullard, 
But one that strips the outward rind of things ! 

Alvar. 
'Tis fabled there are fruits with tempting rinds, 
That are all dust and rottenness within. 
Would'st thou I should strip such ? 

Ordonio. 

Thou quibbling fool. 
What dost thou mean ? Think'st thou I journeyed hither, 
To sport with thee ? 

Alvar. 
O no, my lord ! to sport 
Best suits the gayety of innocence. 

Ordonio. {aside.) 
O what a thing is man ! the wisest heart 
A fool ! a fool that laughs at its own folly, 

Yet still a fool ! [Looks round the cottage. 

You are poor ! 

Alvar. 

What follows thence ? 

22 



S3 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



ORDONIO. 

That you would fain be richer. 
The Inquisition, too — You «omprehend me ? 
You are poor, in peril. 1 have wealth and power, 
Can quench the flames, and cure your poverty : 
And for the boon I ask of you but this, 
That you should serve me — once — for a few hours. 

Alvar. (solemnly.) 
Thou art the son of Valdez ! would to Heaven 
That I could truly and forever serve thee. 

Ordonio. 
The slave begins to soften. [aside. 

You are, my friend, 
'He that can bring the dead to life again.' 
Nay, no defence to me ! The holy brethren 
Believe these calumnies — I know thee better. 

(then with great bitterness.) 
Thou art a man, and as a man I'll trust thee ! 

Alvar. (aside.) 
Alas ! this hollow mirth — Declare your business. 

Ordonio. 
I love a lady, and she would love me 
But for an idle and fantastic scruple. 
Have you no servants here, no listeners ? 

[Ordonio steps to the door* 
Alvar. 
What, faithless too ? False to his angel wife ? 
To such a wife ? Well might'st thou look so wan, 

Ill-starred Teresa Wretch ! my softer soul 

Is passed away, and I will probe his conscience ! 

Ordonio. 
In truth this lady loved another man, 
But he has perished. 

Alvar. 
What ! you killed him ? hey ? 

Ordonio. 
I'll dash thee to the earth, if thou but think'st it ! 
Insolent slave ! how dar'dst thou — 

[Tarns abruptly from Alvar, and then to himself^ 



REMORSE. 339 



Why ! what's this ? 
'Twas idiotcy ! I'll tie myself to an aspen, 
And wear a fool's cap — 

Alvar. {watching his agitation. 

Fare thee well — 

J pity thee, Ordonio, even to anguish. [Alvar is retiring, 

Ordonio. (having recovered himself.) 
ilo ! \ [calling to Alvar, 

Alvar. 
Be brief, what wish you ? 

Ordonio. 
You are deep at barteiin^' — You charge yourself 
At a round sum. Come, come, I spake unwisely. 

Alvar. 
1 listen to you. 

Ordonio. 
In a sudden tempest, 
Did Alvar perish — he, I mean — the lover — 

The fellow 

Alvar. 
Nay, speak out ! 'twill ease your heart 
To call him villain ! — Why stand'st thou aghast? 
Men think it natural to hate their rivals. 

Ordonio. {hesitating.) 
Now, till she knows him dead, she will not wed me. 

Alvar. {with eager vehemence.) 
Are you not wedded then ? Merciful Heaven ! 
Not wedded to Teresa ? 

Ordonio. 

Why what ails thee ? 
What, art thou mad ? why look'st thou upward so ? 
Dost pray to Lucifer, Prince of the Air ? 

Alvar. {recollecting himself.) 
Proceed, I shall be silent. 

[Alvar sits, and leaning on the table, hides his face, 

Ordonio. 

To Teresa f 



Politic wizard ! ere you sent that message, 

You had conned your lesson, made yourself proficient 

In all my fortunes. Hah ! you prophesied 

A golden crop ! Well, you have not mistaken — 

Be faithful to me and I'll pay thee nobly. 

Alvar. {lifting up his head.) 
Well ! and this lady ! 

Ordonio. 
If we could make her certain of his death, 
She needs must wed me. Ere her lover left her, 
She tied a little portrait round his neck, 
Entreating him to wear it. 

Alvar. {sighing.) 

Yes ! he did so 1 

Ordonio. 
Why no : he was afraid of accidents, 
Of robberies, and shipwrecks, and the like. 
In secrecy he gave it me to keep, 
Till his return. 

Alvar. 
What ! he was your friend then ? 

Ordonio. {wounded and embarrassed.) 
I was his friend. — 

Now that he gave it me, 
This lady knows not. You are a mighty wizard — 
Can call the dead man up — he will not come — 
He is in heaven then — there you have no influence. 
Still there are tokens — and your imps may bring you 
Something he wore about him when he died. 
And when the smoke of the incense on the altar 
Is passed, your spirits will have left this picture. 
What say you now ? 

Alvar. [after a pause.) 
Ordonio. I will do it. 

Ordonio. 
We'll hazard no delay. Be it to-night, 
In the early evening. Ask for the Lord Valdez. 
I will prepare him. Music too, and incense 
For I have arranged it — Music, Altar, Incense), 



REMORSE. 34] 

All shall be ready. Here is this same picture 
And here, what you will value more, a purse. 
Come early for your magic ceremonies. 

Alvar. 
I will not fail to meet you. 

Ordoxio. 
Til. next we meet, farewell 1 [Exit Ordonio. 

Alvar. (alone, indignantly flings the purse away and gazes pas> 
sionately at the portrait.) 

And I did curse thee ? 
At midnight ? on my knees ? and I believed 
Thee perjured, thee a traitress? Thee dishonored? 

blind and credulous fool ! O guilt of folly ! 
Should not thy inarticulate Fondnesses, 

Thy Infant Loves — should not thy Maiden Vows 
Have come upon my heart ? And this sweet Image 
Tied round my neck with many a chaste endearment, 
And thrilling hands, that made me weep and tremble — 
Ah, coward dupe ! to yield it to the miscreant, 
Who spake pollution of thee ! barter for Life 
This farewell Pledge, which with impassioned Vow 

1 had sworn that I would grasp — ev'n in my Death-pang f 

I am unworthy of thy love, Teresa, 

Of that unearthly smile upon those lips, 

Which ever smiled on me ! Yet do not scorn me — 

I lisped thy name, ere I had learnt my mother's. 

Dear Portrait ! rescued from a traitor's keeping, 
I will not now profane thee, holy Image, 
To a dark trick. That worst bad man shall find 
A picture, which will wake the hell within him, 
And rouse a fiery whirlwind in his conscience. 



34* CdLMkltiG&S POEMS. 

ACT III.— SCENE I. 

A I Fall of Armory, with an Altar at the back of the Stage. Soft 
Music from an Instrument of Glass or Steel. 

Valdi<;z, Ordonio, and Alvar in a Sorcerer's robe, are discovered* 

Ordonio. 
This was too melancholy, Father. 

Valdez. 

Nay, 
My Alvar loved sad music from a child. 
Onco he was lost ; and after weary search 
We found him in an open place in the wood, 
To which spot he had followed a blind boy, 
Who breathed into a pipe of sycamore 
Some strangely moving notes : and these, he said, 
Were taught him in a dream. Him we first saw 
Stretched on the broad top of a sunny heath-bank : 
And lower down poor Alvar, fast asleep, 
His head upon the blind boy's dog. It pleased me 
To mark how he had fastened round the pipe 
A silver toy his grandam had late given him. 
Methinks I see him now as he then looked — 
Even so ! — He had outgrown his infant dress, 
Yet still he wore it. 

Alvar. 
My tears must not flow ! 
1 must not clasp his knees, and cry, My father ! 
Enter Teresa, and Attendants, 
Teresa. 
Lord Valdez, you have asked my presence here, 
And I submit ; but (Heaven bear witness for me) 
My heart approves it not ! 'tis mockery 

Ordonio. 
Believe you then no preternatural influence ? 
Believe you not that spirits throng around us ? 

Teresa. 
Say rather that I have imagined it 
A possible thing : and it has soothed my soul 
As other fancies have ; but ne'er seduced me 
To traffic with the black and frenzied hope 
That the dead hear the voice of witch or wizard. 
(To Alvar*) Stranger, I mourn and blush to see you here, 



REMORSE. 34;\ 



On such employment ! With far other thoughts 
I left you. 

Ordonio. {aside.) 
Ha ! he has been tampering with her ? 

Alvar. 

high-souled Maiden ! and more dear to me 
Than suits the Stranger's name ! — 

I swear to thee 

1 will uncover all concealed guilt. 

Doubt, but decide not ! Stand ye from the altar. 

[Here a strain of music is heard from behind the scene, 

Alvar. 

With no irreverent voice or uncouth charm 
I call up the Departed ! 

Soul of Alvar ! 
Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell : 
So may the Gates of Paradise, unbarred, 
Cease thy swift toils ! Since haply thou art one 
Of that innumerable company 
Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow, 
Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion, 
With noise too vast and constant to be heard : 
Fitliest unheard ! For oh, ye numberless 
And rapid Travellers ! what ear unstunned, 
What sense unmaddened, might bear up against 
The rushing of your congregated wings ? [Music* 

Even now your living wheel turns o'er my head S 

[Music expressive of the movements and images that follow. 
Ye, as ye pass, toss high the desert sands, 
That roar and Avhiten, like a burst of waters, 
A sweet appearance, but a dread illusion 
To the parched caravan that roams by night ! 
And ye build up on the becalmed waves 
That whirling pillar, which from Earth to Heaven 
Stands vast, and moves in blackness ! Ye too split 
The ice mount ! and with fragments many and huge 
Tempest the new-thawed sea, whose sudden gulphs 
Suck in, perchance, some Lapland wizard's skiff ! 
Then round and round the whirlpool's marge ye dance 
Till from the blue swoln Corse the Soul toils out, 
And joins your mighty Army. 

[Here behind the scenes a voice sings the three words, ''Hear. 
Sweet Spirit,'' 

Soul of Alvar ! 
Hear the mild spell, and tempt no blacker Charm I 



3 44 COLERID CE '$ POEMS. 

By sighs unquiet, and the sickly pang 

Of a half dead, yet still undying Hope, 

Pass visible before our mortal sense ! 

80 shall the Church's cleansing rites be thine, 

Her knells and masses that redeem the Dead ! 

SONG. 

i'ehind the Scenes, accompanied by the same Instrument as before 

Hear, sweet spirit, hear the spell, 

Lest a blacker charm compel ! 

So shall the midnight breezes swell 

With thy deep long-lingering knell. 

And at evening evermore, 

In a Chapel on the shore v 

Shall the Chaunters sad and saintly, 

Yellow tapers burning faintly, 

Doleful Masses chaunt for thee, 

Miserere Domine ! 

Hark ! the cadence dies away 

On the yellow, moonlight sea : 
The boatmen rest their oars and say, 

Miserere Domine ! [A long pause, 

Ordonio. 
The innocent obey nor charm nor spell ! 
My brother is in heaven. Thou sainted spirit, 
Burst on our sight, a passing visitant ! 
Once more to hear thy voice, once more to see thee: 
O 'twere a joy to me ! 

Alvar. 
A joy to thee ! 
What if thou heard'st him now ? What if his spirit 
Re-entered its cold corse, and came upon thee 
With many a stab from many a murderer's poinard? 
What if (liis steadfast Eye still beaming Pity 
And Brother's love) he turned his head aside, 
Lest he should look at thee, and with one look 
Hurl thee beyond all power of Penitence ? 

Valdez. 
These are unholy fancies 1 

Ordonio. {struggling with his feelings.) 
Yes, my father, 
He is in Heaven '. 



REMORSE. . 345 



Alvar. {still to Ordonio.) 
But what if he had a brother, 
Who had lived even so, that at his dying hour, 
The name of Heaven would have convulsed his face, 
More than the death-pang ? 

Valdez. 

Idly prating man ! 
Thou hast guessed ill : Bon Alvar's only brother 
Stands here before thee — a father's blessing on him I 
He is most virtuous. 

Alvar. (still to Ordonio.) 
What, if his very virtues 
Had pampered his swoln heart and made him proud ? 
And what if Pride had duped him into guilt ? 
Yet still he stalked a self-created God, 
Not very bold, but exquisitely cunning ; 
And one that at his Mother's looking-glass 
Would force his features to a frowning sternness ? 
Young Lord ! I tell thee that there are such Beings — 
Yea, and it gives fierce merriment to the damned 
To see these most proud men, that loathe mankind, 
At every stir and buzz of coward conscience, 
Trick, cant, and lie, most whining hypocrites ! 
Away, away ! Now let me hear more music. [Music again. 

Teresa. 
'Tis strange, I tremble at my own conjectures ! 
But whatsoe'er it mean, I dare no longer 
Be present at these lawless mysteries, 
This dark Provoking of the Hidden Powers ! 
Already I affront — if not high Heaven — 
Yet Alvar's Memory ! — Hark ! I make appeal 
Against the unholy rite, and hasten hence 
To bend before a lawful Shrine, and seek 
That voice which whispers, when the still Heart listens, 
Comfort and faithful Hope ! Let us retire. 

Alvar. {to Teresa anxiously.) 
fall of faith and guileless love, thy Spirit 
Still prompts thee wisely. Let the pangs of guilt 
Surprise the guilty : thou art innocent ! 

[Exeunt Teresa and Attendant 
(Music as before.) 
The spell is muttered — Come, thou wandering Shape, 



34-6 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 

Who own' St no Master in a human eye, 
Whate'er be this man's doom, fair be it, or foul, 
If he be dead, O come ! and bring with thee 
That which he grasped in death. But if he live, 
Some token of his obscure perilous life. 

[The whole Music clashes into a Chorus. 

CHORUS. 
Wandering Demons hear the spell ! 
Lest a blacker charm compel — 
[The incense on the altar takes fire suddenly, and an illumi- 
nated picture of Alvar's assassination is discovered, and 
having remained a few seconds is then hidden by ascend- 
ing flames. 

Ordonio. {starting in great agitation.) 
Duped ! duped ! duped !— the traitor Isidore ! 

[At this instant the doors are forced open, Monviedro and the 
familiars of the Inquisition, servants, &c, enter and fill 
the stage. 

Monviedro. 
First seize the sorcerer ! suffer him not to speak ! 
The holy judges of the Inquisition 

Shall hear his first words. — Look you pale, Lord Valdez ? 
Plain evidence have we here of most foul sorcery 
There is a dungeon underneath this castle, 
And as you hope for mild interpretation, 
Surrender instantly the keys and charge of it. 

Ordonio. [recovering himself as from stupor, to servants.) 
Why haste you not ? Off with him to the dungeon ! 

[All rush out in tumult. 



SCENE II. 

Interior of a Chapel, with painted Windows. 

Enter Teresa. 
When first I entered this pure spot, forebodings 
Pressed heavy on my heart : but as I knelt, 
Such calm unwonted bliss possessed my spirit, 
A trance so cloudless, that those sounds, hard by, 
Of trampling uproar fell upon mine ear 
As alien and unnoticed as the rain-storm 



REMORSE. 341 



Beats on the roof of some fair banquet-room, 
While sweetest melodies are warbling 

Enter Valdez. 

Valdez. 
Ye pitying saints, forgive a father's blindness, 
And extricate us from this net of peril ? 

Teresa. 
Who wakes anew my fears, and speaks of peril ? 

Valdez. 
O best Teresa, wisely wert thou prompted ! 
This was no feat of mortal agency ! 
That picture — Oh, that picture tells me all ! 
With a flash of light it came, in flames it vanished, 
Self-kindled, self-consumed : bright as thy Life, 
Sudden and unexpected as thy Fate, 
Alvar ! My Son ! My Son ! — The Inquisitor — 

Teresa. 
Torture me not ! But Alvar — Oh, of Alvar ? 

Valdez. 
How often would He plead for these Morescoes ! 
The brood accurst ! remorseless, coward murderers ! 

Teresa, {wildly.) 
So ? so ? — I comprehend you — he is 

Valdez. [with averted countenance.) 

He is no more ! 

Teresa. 
O sorrow ! that a Father's' Voice should say this, 
A Father's Heart believe it ! 

Valdez. 
A worse sorrow 
Are Fancy's wild Hopes to a heart despairing ! 

Teresa. 
These rays that slant in through those gorgeous windows, 
From yon bright orb — though colored as they pass, 
Are they not Light ? — Even so that voice, Lord Valdez ! 
Which whispers to my soul, though haply varied 



34^ COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



By many a Fancy, many a wishful Hope, 
Speaks yet the Truth : and Alvar lives for me 1 

Valdez. 
Yes, for three wasting years, thus and no other, 
He has lived for thee — a spirit for thy spirit ! 
My child, we must not give religious faith 
To every voice that makes the heart a listener 
To its own wish. 

Teresa. 
I breathed to the Unerring 
Permitted prayers. Must those remain unanswered, 
Yet impious Sorcery, that holds no commune 
Save with the lying spirit, claim belief? 

» 
Valdez. 

O not to-day, not now for the first time 
Was Alvar lost to thee — 

{turning off, aloud, but yet as to himself 
Accurst assassin ! 
Disarmed, o'erpowered, despairing of defence, 
At his bared breast he seemed to grasp some relict 
More dear than was his life 

Teresa, {with faint shriek.) 

O Heavens ! my portrait ! 
And he did grasp it in his death pang ! 

Off, false Demon, 
That beat'st thy black wings close above my head ! 

[Ordonio enters with the keys of the dungeon in his hand. 
Hush ! who comes here ? The wizard Moor's employer ! 
Moors were his murderers, you say ? Saints shield us 

From wicked thoughts 

[ Valdez moves towards the back of the stage to meet Ord.onio, 
and during the concluding lines of Teresa's speech ap- 
pears as eagerly conversing with him. 

Is Alvar dead ? what then ? 
The nuptial rites and funeral shall be one ! 
Here's no abiding-place for thee, Teresa. — 
Away ! they see me not — Thou seest me, Alvar ! 
To thee 1 bend my course. — But first one question, 
One question to Ordonio. — My limbs tremble — 
There 1 may sit unmarked — a moment will restore me. 

[Retires out of sight 



REMORSE. 349 



Ordonio. {as he advances with Valdez.) 
These are the dungeon keys. Monviedro knew not 
That I too had received the wizard's message, 
' He that can bring the dead to life again.' 
But now he is satisfied, I planned this scheme 
TO work a full conviction on the culprit, 
And he entrusts him wholly to my keeping. 

Valdez. 

'Tis well, my son ! But have you yet discovered 
(Where is Teresa ?) what those speeches meant — 
Pride, and Hypocrisy, and Guilt, and Cunning ? 
Then when the wizard fixed his eye on you, 
And you, I know not why, looked pale and trembled 
Why — why, what ails you now ? — 

Ordonio. {confused.) 

Me ? what ails me ? 
A pricking of the blood — It might have happened 
At any other time. — Why scan you me? 

Valdez. 
His speech about the corse, and stabs and murderers, 
Bore reference to the assassins 

Ordonio. 

Duped ! duped I duped ! 
The traitor, Isidore ! [^L pause, then wildly, 

I tell thee, my dear father ! 
I am most glad of this. 

Valdez. {confused.) 
True — Sorcery 
Merits its doom ; and this perchance may guide us 
To the discovery of the murderers. 
I have their statures and their several faces 
So present to me, that but once to meet them 
Would be to recognize. 

Ordonio. 
Yes 1 yes ! we recognize them. 
I was benumbed, and staggered up and down 
Through darkness without light — dark— dark — dark! 
My flesh crept chill, my limbs felt manacled, 
As had a snake coiled round them ! — Now 'tis sunshine, 
And the blood dances freely through its channels ! 

[Turns off abruptly ; then to himself. 



35° COLEKID G£ S FOE MS. 

This is my virtuous, grateful Isidore ! 

[Then mimicking Isidore's manner and voice. 
* A common trick of gratitude, my lord ! ' 
Old Gratitude ! a dagger would dissect 
His ' own full heart ' — 'twere good to see its color. 

Valdez. 
These magic sights ! O that I ne'er had yielded 
To your entreaties ! Neither had I yielded, 
But that in spite of your own seeming faith 
I held it for some innocent stratagem, 
Which Love had prompted, to remove the doubts 
Of wild Teresa — by fancies quelling fancies ! 

Ordonio. [in a slow voice, as reasoning to himself.) 
Love 1 Love ! and then we hate ! and what ? and wherefor© ? 
Hatred and Love ! Fancies opposed by fancies ! 
What ? if one reptile sting another reptile, 
Where is the crime ? The goodly face of nature 
Hath one disfeaturing stain the less upon it. 
Are we not all predestined Transiency, 
And cold Dishonor ? Grant it, that this hand 
Had given a morsel to the hungry worms 
Somewhat too early — Where's the crime of this ? 
Tli at this must needs bring on the idiotcy 
Of moist-eyed Penitence — 'tis like a dream ! 

Valdez. 

Wild talk, my son ! But thy excess of feeling 

[averting himself. 
Almost I fear, it hath unhinged his brain. 

Ordonio. {now in soliloquy, and now addressing his father: 
and just after the speech has commenced, Teresa reappears 
and advances slowly.) 

Say, I had laid a body in the sun ! 

Well, in a month there swarm forth from the corse 

A thousand, nay, ten thousand sentient beings 

In place of that one man. — Say, I had killed him ! 

[Teresa starts and stops listening. 

Yet who shall tell me, that each one and all 

Of these ten thousand lives is not as happy, 

And that one life, which being pushed aside, 

Made room for these unnumbered 



Valdez. 



mere madness I 



REMORSE. 351 



[Teresa moves hastily forwards, and places herself directly 
before Ordonio. 

Ordonio. {checking the feeling of surprise and forcing his tonei 

into an expression of playful courtesy.) 
Teresa ? or the Phantom of Teresa ? 

Teresa. 
Alas ! the Phantom only, if in truth 
The substance of her Being, her Life's life, 
Have ta'en its flight through Alvar's death-wound — 

(A pause.) Where — 

(Even coward Murder grants the dead a grave) 
O tell me, Valdez ! — answer me, Ordonio ! 
Where lies the corse of my betrothed husband ? 

Ordonio. 
There, where Ordonio likewise would fain lie ! 
In the sleep-compelling earth, in unpierced darkness ! 
For while we live — 
An inward day that never, never sets, 
Glares round the soul, and mocks the closing eyelids ! 
Over his rocky grave the Fir-grove sighs 
A lulling ceaseless dirge ! 'Tis well with him. 

[Strides off in agitation towards the altar, but returns a& 
Valdez is speaking.) 

Teresa, {recoiling with the expression appropriate to the pas- 
sion.) 
The rock ! the fir-grove ! [To Valdez, 

Didst thou hear him say it ? 
Hush ! I will ask him I 

Valdez. 

Urge him not — not now ! 
This we beheld. Nor he nor I know more, 
Than what the magic imagery revealed. 
The assassin, who pressed foremost of the three 

Ordonio. 
$l tender-hearted, scrupulous, grateful villain, 
Whom I will strangle ! 

Valdez. {looking with anxious disquiet at his Son, yet attempt- 
ing to proceed with his description.) 

While his two companions 

Ordonio. 
Dead ! dead already ! what care we for the dead ? 



35 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Valdez. (to Teresa.) 
Pity him ! sooth him ! disenchant his spirit ! 
Those supernatural shows, this strange disclosure, 
And this too fond affection, which still broods 
O'er Alvar's Fate, and still burns to avenge it — ■ 
These, struggling with his hopeless love for you, 
Distemper him, and give reality 
To the creatures of his fancy. 

Ordonio. 
Is it so ? 

Yes ! yes ! even like a child, that too abruptly 
Roused by a glare of light from deepest sleep 
Starts up bewildered and talks idly. 

{Then mysteriously.) Father ! 

What if the Moors that made my brother's grave, 
Even now were digging ours ? What if the bolt, 
Though aimed, I doubt not, at the son of Valdez, 
Yet missed its true aim when it fell on Alvar ? 

Valdez. 
Alvar ne'er fought against the Moors, — say rather, 
He was their advocate ; but you had marched 
With fire and desolation through their villages. — 
Yet he by chance was captured. 

Ordonio. 

Unknown, perhaps, 
Captured, yet, as the son of Valdez, murdered. 
Leave all to me. Nay, whither, gentle lady ? 

Valdez. 
What seek you now ? 

Teresa. 
A better, surer light 

To guide me 

Both Valdez and Ordonio. 
Whither ? 

Teresa. 

To the only place 
Where life yet dwells for me, and ease of heart. 
•These walls seem threatening to fall in upon mat 
Detain me not ! a dim power drives me hence, 
And that will be my guide. 



REMORSE. 353 

Valdez. 
To find a lover ! 
Suits that a high born maiden's modesty ? 

folly and shame ! Tempt not my rage, Teresa! 

Teresa. 
Hopeless, I fear no human being's rage. 
And am I hastening to the arms Heaven ! 

1 haste but to the grave of my beloved ! 

[Exit, Valdez following after hen 

Ordonio. 
This, then, is my reward ! and I must love her? 
Scorned ! shuddered at ! yet love her still ? yes ! yes ! 
By the deep feelings of Revenge and Hate 
I will still love her — woo her — win her too ! 
{a pause) Isidore safe and silent, and the portrait 
Found on the wizard — he, belike, self-poisoned 

To escape the crueller flames My soul shouts triumph ! 

The mine is undermined ! Blood ! Blood ! Blood! 

They thirst for thy blood ! thy blood, Ordonio ! [a pause. 

The Hunt is up ! and in the midnight wood 

With lights to dazzle and with nets they seek 

A timid prey : and lo ! the tiger's eye 

Glares in the red flame of his hunter's torch ! 

To Isidore I will dispatch a message, 

And lure him to the cavern ! ay, that cavern ! 

He cannot fail to find it. Thither I'll lure him 

Whence he shall never, never more return ! 

[Looks through the side window. 
A rim of the sun lies yet upon the sea, 
And now 'tis gone ! All shall be done to-night. [Exit. 



ACT IV.— SCENE I. 

A cavern, dark, except where a gleam of moonlight is seen on one 
side at the further end of it ; supposed to be cast on it from a 
crevice in a part of the cavern out of sight. Isidore alone, an. 
extinguished torch in his hand. 

Isidore. 
Faith 'twas a moving letter — very moving! 
1 His life in danger, no place safe but this I 
'Twas his turn now to talk of gratitude.' 

23 



354 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



And yet — but no ! there can't be such a villain. 
It cannot be ! 

Thanks to that little crevice, 
Which lets the moonlight in ! I'll go and sit by it. 
To peep at a tree, or see a he-goat's beard, 
Or hear a cow or two breathe loud in their sleep — 
Anything but this crash of water drops ! 
These dull abortive sounds that fret the silence 
With puny thwartings and mock opposition ! 
So beats the death-watch to a sick man's ear. 

[He goes out of sight, opposite to the patch of moonlight : re* 

turns after a minute's elapse, in an ecstacy of fear. 
A hellish pit ! The very same I dreamt of ! 
I was just in — and those damned fingers of ice 
Which clutched my hair up ! Ha ! — what's that — it moved. 

[Isidore stands staring at another recess in the cavern. In 

the mean time Ordonio enters with a torch, and hallooi 

to Isidore. 

Isidore. 
I swear that I saw something moving there ! 

The moonshine came and went like a flash of lightning 

I swear, I saw it move. 

Ordonio. {goes into the recess, then returns, and with great scorn.) 

A jutting clay stone 
Props on the long lank weed, that grows beneath : 
And the weed nods and drips. 

Isidore, (forcing a laugh faintly.) 
A jest to laugh at ! 
It was not that which scared me, good, my lord. 

Ordonio. 
What scared you, then ? 

Isidore. 
You see that little rift ? 
But first permit me ! 

[Lights his torch at Ordonio' 's, and while lighting it, 
(A lighted torch in the hand, 
Is no unpleasant object here — one's breath 
Floats round the flame, and makes as many colors 
As the thin clouds that travel near the moon.) 
You see that crevice there ? 
My torch extinguished by these water drops, 
And marking that the moonlight came from thence, 
I stept in to it, meaning to sit there ; 
But scarcely had I measured twenty paces — 



REMORSE. 355 



My body bending forward, yea, o'erbalanced 

Almost beyond recoil, on the dim brink 

Of a huge chasm I stept. The shadowy moonshine 

Filling the Void so counterfeited Substance, 

That my foot hung aslant adown the edge. 

Was it my own fear ? 

Fear too hath its instincts ! 
(And yet such dens as these are wildly told of, 
And there are Beings that live, yet not for the eye) 
And arm of frost above and from behind me 
Plucked up and snatched me backward. Merciful Heaven ! 
You smile ! alas, even smiles look ghastly here I 
My lord, I pray you go yourself and view it. 

Ordonio. 
It must have shot some pleasant feelings through you. 

Isidore. 
If every atom of a dead man's flesh 
Should creep, each one with a particular life, 
Yet all as cold as ever — 'twas just so ! 
Or had it drizzled needle points of frost 
Upon a feverish head made suddenly bald — 

Ordonio. {interrupting him.) 

Why, Isidore 
I blush for thy cowardice. It might have startled, 
I grant you, even a brave man for a moment — 
But such a panic — 

Isidore. 
When a boy, my lord ! 
I could have sate whole hours beside that chasm, 
Pushed in huge stones and heard them strike and rattl* 
Against its horrid sides : then hung my head 
Low down, and listened till the heavy fragments 
Sank with faint crash in that still groaning well, 
Which never thirsty pilgrim blest, which never 
A living thing came near — unless, perchance, 
Some blind-worm battens on the ropy mould 
Close at its edge. 

Ordonio. 
Art thou more coward now ? 

Isidore. 
Call him that fears his fellow-man a coward I 
I fear not man — but this inhuman cavern, 



35& COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

It were too bad a prison-house for goblins. 
Beside (you'll smile, my lord), but true it is, 
My last night's sleep was very sorely haunted 
By what had passed between us in the morning. 

sleep of horrors ! Now run down and stared at 
By Forms so hideous that they mock remembrance— 
Now seeing nothing and imagining nothing, 

But only being afraid — stifled with Fear! 

While every goodly or familiar form 

Had a strange power of breathing terror round me ! 

1 saw you in a thousand fearful shapes ; 
And, I entreat your lordship to believe me, 
In my last dream 

Ordonio. 
Well? 

Isidore. 

I was in the act 
Of falling down that chasm, when Alhadra 
Waked me : she heard my heart beat. 

Ordonio. 
Had you been here before ? 



Strange enough! 



Isidore. 
Never, my lord ! 
But mine eyes do not see it now more clearly, 
Than in my dream I saw — that very chasm. 

Ordonio. {stands lost in thought, then after a paused 
I know not why it should be ! yet it is — • 

Isidore. 
What is, my lord ? 

Ordonio. 
Abhorrent from our nature, 
To kill a man. — 

Isidore. 
Except in self-defence. 

Ordonio. 
Why that's my case ; and yet the soul recoils from it— 
'Tis so with me at least. But you, perhaps, 
Have sterner feelings ? 



REMORSE. 3S y 



Isidore. 

Something troubles you. 

How shall I serve you ? By the life you gave me, 

By all that makes that life of value to me, 

My wife, my babes, my honor, I swear to you, 

Name it, and I will toil to do the thing, 

If it be innocent ! But this, my lord ! 

Is not a place where you could perpetrate 

No, not propose, a wicked thing. The darkness, 

When ten strides off we know 'tis cheerful moonlight, 

Collects the guilt, and crowds it round the heart. 

It must be innocent. 

[Ordonio darkly, and in the feeling of self-justification, tells 
what he conceives of his own character and actions, speak- 
ing of himself in the third person. 

Ordonio. 

Thyself be judge. 
One of our family knew this place well. 

Isidore. 
Who ? when ? my lord ? 

Ordonio. 

What boots it who or when ? 

Hang up thy torch — I'll tell his tale to thee. 

[They hang up their torches on some ridge in the cavern. 
He was a man different from other men, 
And he despised them, yet revered himself. 

Isidore, {aside.) 

He ? He despised ? Thou'rt speaking of thyself ! 

1 am on my guard, however : no surprise. {Then to Ordonio. 

What, he was mad ? 

Ordonio. 
All men seemed mad to him ! 
Nature had made him for some other planet, 
And pressed his soul into a human shape 
By accident or malice. In this world 
He found no fit companion. 

Isidore. 

Of himself he speaks. [aside. 

Alas ! poor wretch 1 
Mad men are mostly proud. 



358 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Ordonio. 

He walked alone, 
And phantom thoughts unsought- for troubled him. 
Something within would still be shadowing out 
All possibilities ; and with these shadows 
His mind held dalliance. Once, as so it happened, 
A fancy crossed him wilder than the rest : 
To this in moody murmur and low voice 
He yielded utterance, as some talk in sleep : 
The man who heard him. — 

Why didst thou look round ?— 

Isidore. 
I have a prattler three years old, my lord ! 
In truth he is my darling. As I went 
From forth my door, he made a moan in sleep — 
But I am talking idly — pray proceed ! 
And what did this man ? « 

Ordonio. 

With his human hand 
He gave a substance and reality 
To that wild fancy of a possible thing. — 
Well it was done ! [then very wildly 

Why babblest thou of guilt ? 
The deed was done, and it passed fairly off. 
And he whose tale I tell thee — dost thou listen ? 

Isidore. 

I would, my lord, you were by my fire-side, 
I'd listen to you with an eager eye, 
Though you began this cloudy tale at midnight : 
But I do listen — pray proceed, my lord. 



Ordonio. 

Isidore. 
He of whom you tell the tale — 

Ordonio. 
Surveying all things with a quiet scorn, 
Tamed himself down to living purposes, 
The occupations and the semblances 
Of ordinary men — and such he seemed I 
But that same ever ready agent — he — 



Where was I? 



REMORSE. 359 



Isidore. 
Ah ! what of him, my lord ? 

Ordonio. 

He proved a traitor, 
Betrayed the mystery to a brother traitor, 
And they between them hatched a damned plot 
To hunt him down to infamy and death. 
What did the Valdez ? I am proud of the name 
Since he dared do it — 

[Ordonio grasps his sword, and turns off from Isidore, then 
after a pause returns. 

Our links burn dimly. 

Isidore. 
A dark tale darkly finished * Nay, my lord ! 
Tell what he did. 

Ordonio. 
That which his wisdom prompted — 
He made the Traitor meet him in this cavern, 
And here he killed the Traitor. 

Isidore. 

No! the fool! 
He had not wit enough to be a traitor. 
Poor thick-eyed beetle ! not to have foreseen 
That he who gulled thee with a whimpered lie 
To murder his own brother, would not scruple 
To murder thee, if e'er his guilt grew jealous, 
And he could steal upon thee in the dark I 

Ordonio. 
Thou would' st not then have come, if — 

Isidore. 
Oh yes, my lord ! 
I would have met him armed, and scared the coward. 

[Isidore throws off his robe ; shows himself armed and draws 
his sword. 

Ordonio. 
Now this is excellent and warms the blood ! 
My heart was drawing back, drawing me back 
With weak and womanish scruples. Now my Vengeance 
Beckons me onwards with a Warrior's mien, 
And claims that life, my pity robbed her of — 



3 6 ° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Now will I kill thee, thankless slave, and count it 
Among my comfortable thoughts hereafter. 

Isidore. 
And all my little ones fatherless — 

Die thou first. 
[ They fight, Ordonio disarms Isidore, and in disarming him 
throws his sword up that recess opposite to which they were 
standing. Isidore hurries into the recess with his torch? 
Ordonio follows him ; a loud cry of ' Traitor ! Monster 1 ' 
is heard from the cavern, and in a moment Ordonio return* 
alone. 

Ordonio. 
I have hurled him down the Chasm ! Treason for Treason. 
He dreamt of it : henceforward let him sleep, 
A dreamless sleep, from which no wife can wake him. 
His dream too is made out — Now for his friend. [Exit Ordonio. 

SCENE II.* 

The Interior Court of a Saracenic or Gothic Castle, with the Iron 
Gate of Dungeon visible. 

Teresa. 
Heart-chilling Superstition ! thou canst glaze 
Ev'n Pity's eye with her own frozen tear. 
In vain I urge the tortures that await him ; 
Even Selma, reverend guardian of my childhood, 
My second mother, shuts her heart against me ! 
Well, I have won from her what most imports 
The present need, this secret of the dungeon 
Known only to herself. — A Moor ! a Sorcerer ! 
No, I have faith, that nature ne'er permitted 
Baseness to wear a form so noble. True, 
I doubt not, that Ordonio had suborned him 
To act some part in some unholy fraud ; 
As little doubt, that for some unknown purpose 
He hath baffled his suborner, terror-struck him, 
And that Ordonio meditates revenge ! 
But my resolve is fixed ; myself will rescue him, 
And learn if haply he know aught of Alvar. 
Enter Valdez. 

Valdez. 
Still sad ?— and gazing at the massive door 

Of that fell Dungeon which thou ne'er hadst sigh t_of, ' 

* Vide Appendix. ~~ 



REMORSE. 361 



Save what, perchance, thy infant fancy shaped it 

When the nurse stilled thy cries with unmeant threats. 

Now by my faith, Girl ! this same wizard haunts thee ! 

A stately man, and eloquent and tender — [with a sneer. 

Who then need wonder if a lady sighs 

Even at the thought of what these stern Dominicans — 

Teresa, (with solemn indignation.) 
The horror of their ghastly punishments 
Doth so o'ertop the height of all compassion, 
That I should feel too little for mine enemy, 
If it were possible I could feel more, 
Even though the dearest inmates of our household 
Were doomed to suffer them. That such things are — 

Valdez. 
Hush ! thoughtless woman ! 

Teresa. 

Nay, it wakes within me 
More than a woman's spirit. 

Valdez. 

No more of this— 
What if Monviedro or his creatures hear us ! 
1 dare not listen to you. 

Teresa. 
My honored lord, 
These were my Alvar's lessons, and whene'er 
I bend me o'er his portrait, I repeat them, 
As if to give a voice to the mute Image. 

Valdez. 

We have mourned for Alvar. 

Of his sad fate there now remains no doubt. 
Have I no other son ? 

Teresa. 
Speak not of him ! 
That low imposture ! That mysterious picture 
If this be madness, must I wed a madman ? 
And if not madness, there is mystery, 
And guilt doth lurk behind it. 

Valdez. 

Is this well ? 
Teresa. 
Yes, it is truth : saw you his countenance ? 



3^2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



How rage, lemorse, and scorn, and stupid fear, 
Displaced each oth?r with swift interchanges ? 

that I had indeed the sorcerer's power. 

1 would call up before thine eyes the image 
Of my beticthed Alvar, of thy First-born ! 
His own fair countenance, his kingly forehead, 
His tender smiles, loves day-dawn on his lips! 
That spiritual and almost heavenly light 

In his commanding eye — his mien heroic, 
Virtue's own native heraldry ! to man 
Genial, and pleasant to his guardian angel. 
Whene'er he gladdened, how the gladness spread 
Wide round him ! and when oft with swelling tears, 
Flashed through by indignation, he bewailed 
The wrongs of Belgium's martyred patriots,. 
Oh, what a Grief was there — for Joy to envy 
Or gaze upon enamoured ! 

O my father ! 
Recall that morning when we knelt together, 
And thou didst bless our loves ! O even now, 
Even now, my sire ! to thy mind's eye present him 
As at that moment he rose up before thee, 
Stately, with beaming look ! Place, place beside him 
Ordonio's dark perturbed countenance ! 
Then bid me (oh, thou could'st not) bid me turn 
From him, the joy, the triumph of our kind ! 
To take in exchange that brooding man, who never 
Lifts up his eye from the earth unless to scowl. 

Valdez. 
Ungrateful woman ! I have tried to stifle 
An old man's passion ! was it not enough, 
That thou hast made my son a restless man, 
Banished his health, and half unhinged his reason ; 
But that thou wilt insult him with suspicion ? 
And toil to blast his honor ? I am old, 
A comfortless old man ! 

Teresa. 
O Grief ! to hear 
Hateful entreaties from a voice we love ! 

Enter a peasant and presents a letter to Valdez. 

Valdez. {reading it.) 
' He dares not venture hither ! ' Why, what can this mean ? 
* Lest the Familiars of the Inquisition, 



REMORSE. 363 



That watch around my gates, should intercept him ; 

But he conjures me, that without delay 

I hasten to him — for my own sake entreats me 

To guard from danger him I hold imprisoned — 

He will reveal a secret, the joy of which 

Will even outweigh the sorrow.' — Why, what can this be ? 

Perchance it is some Moorish stratagem, 

To have in me an hostage for his safety. 

Nay, that they dare not ? Ho ! collect my servants ! 

I will go thither — let them arm themselves. [Exit ValdeZ*. 

Teresa, {alone.) 
The moon is high in heaven, and all is hushed, 
Yet, anxious listener ! I have seemed to hear 
A low dead thunder mutter through the night, 
As 'twere a giant angry in his sleep. 
Alvar ! Alvar ! that they could return, 
Those blessed days that imitated heaven, 
When we two wont to talk at eventide ; 
When we saw naught but beauty ; when we heard 
The voice of that Almighty One who loved us 
In every gale that breathed, and wave that murmured ! 
O we have listened, even till high-wrought pleasure 
Hath half assumed the countenance of grief, 
And the deep sigh seemed to heave up a weight 
Of bliss, that pressed too heavy on the heart. [a pause. 

And this majestic Moor, seems he not one 
Who oft and long communing with my Alvar 
Hath drunk in kindred lustre from his presence, 
And guides me to him with reflected light ? 
What if in yon dark dungeon coward Treachery 
By groping for him with envenomed poignard — 
Hence, womanish fears, traitors to love and duty — 
I'll free hiin. [Exit Teresa. 

SCENE III. 

The mountains by moonlight. Alhadra alone in a Moorish 

dress. 

Alhadra. 

Yon hanging woods, that touched by autumn seem 
As they were blossoming hues of fire and gold ; 
The flower-like woods' most lovely in decay, 



The many clouds, the sea, the rock, the sands, 

Lie in the silent moonshine ; and the owl, 

(Strange ! very strange !) the screech-owl only wakes I 

Sole voice, sole eye of all this world of beauty ! 

Unless, perhaps, she sing her screeching song 

To a herd of wolves, that skulk athirst for blood. 

Why such a thing am I ! — Where are these men ? 

I need the sympathy of human faces, 

To beat away this deep contempt for all things, 

Which quenches my revenge. Oh ! would to Alia, 

The raven or the sea-mew, were appointed 

To bring me food ! or rather that my soul 

Could drink in life from the universal air ! 

It were a lot divine in some small skiff 

Along some Ocean's boundless solitude, 

To float forever with a careless course, 

And think myself the only Being alive ! 

My children ! — Isidore's children ! — Son of Valdez, 

This hath new-strung mine arm. Thou coward Tyrant ! 

To stupefy a Woman's Heart with anguish, 

Till she forgot — even that she was a Mother ! 

[She fixes her eye on the earth. Then drop in one after an- 
other, from different parts of the stage, a considerable 
number of Morescoes, all in Moorish garments and Moor- 
ish armor. They form a circle at a distance round Al- 
hadra, and remain silent till the Second in command, 
Naomi, enters, distinguished by his dress and armor, and 
by the silent obeisance paid to him on his dUrance by th6 
other Moors. 

Naomi. 

Woman ! May Alia and the prophet bless tliee ! 

We have obeyed thy call. Where is our chief ? 

And why didst thou enjoin these Moorish garments ? 

Alhadra. {raising her eyes, and looking round on the circle.) 
Warriors of Mahomet ! faithful in the battle ! 
My countrymen ! Come ye prepared to work 
An honorable deed ? And would ye work it 
In the slave's garb ? Curse on those Christian robes \ 
They are spell-blasted : and whoever wears them, 
His arm shrinks withered, his heart melts away, 
And his bones soften. 

Naomi. 
Where is Isidore ? 



REMORSE. 3 6 5 



Alhadra. (in a deep low voice.) 
This night I went forth from my house, and left 
His children all asleep : and he was living ! 
And I returned and found them still asleep, 

But he had perished 

All Morescoes. 
Perished ? 

Alhadra. 

He had perished I 
Sleep on, poor babes ! not one of you doth know 
That he is fatherless — a desolate orphan ! 
Why should we wake them ? Can an infant's arm 
Revenge his murder ? 

One Morescoe {to another.) 
Did she say his murder ? 

Naomi. 
Murder ? Not murdered ? 

Alhadra. 
Murdered by a Christian ! 

[They all at once draw their sabres. 
Alhadra. {To Naomi, who advances from the circle.) 
Brother of Zagri ! fling away thy sword : 
This is thy chieftain's ! [He steps forward to take it. 

Dost thou dare receivo it ? 
For I have sworn by Alia and the Prophet,- 
No tear shall dim these eyes, this woman's heart 
Shall heave no groan, till I have seen that sword 
Wet with the life-blood of the son of Valdez 1 [a pause. 

Ordonio was your chieftain's murderer ! 

Naomi. 
He dies, by Alia I 

All. {kneeling.) 

By Alia ! 
Alhadra. 
This night your chieftain armed himself, 
And hurried from me. But I followed him 
At distance, till I saw him enter — there ! 

Naomi. 

The cavern ? 



366 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Alhadra. 
Yes, the mouth of yonder cavern. 
After a while I saw the son of Valdez 
Rush by with flaring torch : lie likewise entered. 
There was another and a longer pause ; 
And once, methought, I heard the clash of swords ! 
And soon the son of Valdez re-appeared. 
He flung his torch towards the moon in sport, 
And seemed as he were mirthful ! I stood listening, 
Impatient for the footsteps of my husband ! 

Naomi. 
Thou called' st him ? 

Alhadra. 
I crept into the cavern — 
'Twas dark and very silent. {Then wildly.) 

What saidst thou ? 
No ! no ! I did not dare call, Isidore, 
Lest I should hear no answer ! A brief while, 
Belike, I lost all thought and memory 
Of that for which I came ! After that pause, 

Heaven ! I heard a groan, and followed it : 
And yet another groan, which guided me 
Into a strange recess — and there was light, 

A hideous light ! his torch lay on the ground ; 
Its flame burnt dimly o'er a chasm's brink : 

1 spake ; and whilst I spake, a feeble groan 

Came from that chasm ! it was his last ! his death-groan ! 

Naomi. 
Comfort her, Alia. 

Alhadra. 
I stood in unimaginable trance 
And agony that cannot be remembered, 
Listening with horrid hope to hear a groan ! 
But I had heard his last : my husband's death-groan ? 

Naomi. 
Haste ! let us onward. 

Alhadra. 

I looked far down the pit — 
My sight was bounded by a jutting fragment : 
And it was stained with blood. Then first I shrieked, 



REMORSE. 367 



My eye-balls burnt, my brain grew hot as fire, 
And all the hanging drops of the wet roof 
Turned into blood — I saw them turn tc blood ! 
And I was leaping wildly down the chasm, 
When on the farther brink I saw his sword, 
And it said Vengeance ! — Curses on my tongue ! 
The moon hath moved in heaven, and I am here, 
And he hath not had vengeance ! Isidore ! 
Spirit of Isidore ! thy murderer lives ! 
Away ! away ! 

All. 
Away ! away ! 

[She rushes off, all following her. 



ACT V.— SCENE I. 

A Dungeon. 

Alvar (alone) rises slowly from a bed of reeds. 

Alvar. 
And this place my forefathers made for man ! 
This is the process of our Love and Wisdom 
To each poor brother who offends against us — 
Most innocent, perhaps — and what if guilty ? 
Is this the only cure ? Merciful God ! 
Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up 
By Ignorance and parching Poverty, 
His energies roll back upon his heart 
And stagnate and corrupt, till, changed to poison, 
They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot ! 
Then we call in our pampered mountebanks ; 
And this is their best cure ! uncomforted 
And friendless Solitude, Groaning and Tears, 
And savage Faces, at the clanking hour, 
Seen through the steam and vapors of his dungeon 
By the lamp's dismal twilight ! So he lies 
Circled with evil, till his very soul 
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed 
By sights of evermore deformity ! 
With other ministrations thou, O Nature I 



368 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 

Healest thy wandering and distempered child : 

Thou pourest on him thy soft influences, 

Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets ; 

Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters! 

Till he relent, and can no more endure 

To be a jarring and a dissonant thing 

Amid this general dance and minstrelsy ; 

But, bursting into tears, wins back his way, 

His angry spirit healed and harmonized 

By the benignant touch of love and beauty. 

1 am chill and weary ! Yon rude bench of stone, 

In that dark angle, the sole resting-place ! 

But the self-approving mind is its own light, 

And life's best warmth still radiates from the heart 

Where love sits brooding, and an honest purpose. 

[Retires out of sight 
Enter Teresa with a Taper. 

Teresa. 

It has chilled my very life my own voice scares me ; 

Yet when I hear it not, I seem to lose 

The substance of my being — my strongest grasp 

Sends inwards but weak witness that I am. 

I seek to cheat the echo. — How the half-sounds 

Blend with this strangled light ! Is he not here — 

[looking round. 
O for one human face here — but to see 
One human face here to sustain me. — Courage 1 
It is but my own fear ! The life within me, 
It sinks and wavers like this cone of flame, 

Beyond which I scarce dare look onward ! Oh ! [shuddering. 
If 1 faint ? If this inhuman den should be 
At once my death-bed and my burial vault ? 

[Faintly screams as Alvar emerges from the recess* 
Alvar. (rushes towards her, and catches her as she is falling) 
O gracious Heaven ! it is, it is Teresa ! 
Shall 1 reveal myself? The sudden shock 
Of rapture will blow out this spark of life, 
And Joy complete what Terror has begun. 

ye impetuous beatings here, be still ! 
Teresa, best beloved ! pale, pale, and cold I 
Her pulse doth flutter ! Teresa ! my Teresa ! 

Teresa, (recovering, looks round wildly.) 

1 heard a voice ; but often in my dreams 



REMORSE. 3 6 9 



I hear that voice ! and wake, and try — and try — 
To hear it waking ! but I never could — 
And 'tis so now — even so ! Well ! he is dead — 
Murdered perhaps ! And I am faint, and feel 
As if it were no painful thing to die ! 

Alvar. {eagerly.) 
Believe it not, sweet maid ! Believe it not, 
Beloved woman ! 'Twas a low imposture, 
Framed by a guilty wretch. 

Teresa, {retires from him, and feebly supports herself against a 
pillar of the dungeon.) 

Ha ! Who art thou ? 

Alvar. {exceedingly affected.) 
Suborned by his brother — 

Teresa. 

Didst thou murder him ? 
And dost thou now repent? Poor troubled man, 
I do forgive thee, and may Heaven forgive thee ! 

Alvar. 
Ordonio — he — 

Teresa. 
If thou didst murder him — 
His spirit ever at the throne of God 
Asks mercy for thee : prays for mercy for thee, 
With tears in Heaven ! 

Alvar. 

Alvar was not murdered. 
Be calm ! Be calm, sweet maid ! 

Teresa, {wildly.) 
Nay, nay, but tell me ! [a pause, then presses her forehead. 

O 'tis lost again ! 
This dull confused pain — [a pause, she gazes at Alvar. 

Mysterious man ! 
Methinks I cannot fear thee : for thine eye 
Doth swim with love and pity — Well ! Ordonio — 
Oh, my foreboding heart ! And he suborned thee, 
And thou didst spare his life ? Blessings shower on thee, 
As many as the drops twice counted o'er 
In the fond faithful heart of his Teresa ! 

24 



,?7° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Alvar. 
I can endure no more. The Moorish Sorcerer 
Exists but in the stain upon his face. 
That picture — 

Teresa, {advances towards him.) 
Ha ! speak on ! 

Alvar. 

Beloved Teresa ! 
It told but half the truth. O let this portrait 
Tell all — that Alvar lives — that he is here ! 
Thy much deceived but ever-faithful Alvar. 

[Takes her portrait from his neck, and gives it her. 
Teresa, (receiving the portrait.) 
The same — it is the same. Ah ! Who art thou ? 
Nay, I will call thee, Alvar ! [She falls on his neck, 

Alvar. 

O joy unutterable I 
Put hark ! a sound as of removing bars 
At the dungeon's outer door. A brief, brief while 
Conceal thyself, my love ! It is Ordonio. 
For the honor of our race, for our dear father ; 
O for himself too (he is still my brother), 
Let me recall him to his nobler nature, 
That he may wake as from a dream of murder 1 
O let me reconcile him to himself, 
Open the sacred source of penitent tears, 
And be once more his own beloved Alvar. 

Teresa. 
O my all-virtuous Love ! I fear to leave thee 
With that obdurate man. 

Alvar. 

Thou dost not leave me I 
But a brief while retire into the darkness : 
O that my joy could spread its sunshine round thee ! 

Teresa. 
The sound of thy voice shall be my music ! 

[Retiring, she returns hastily and embracing Alvar 
Alvar ! my Alvar ! am I sure I hold thee ? 

Is it no dream? thee in my arms, my Alvar ! [ Exit. 

[A noise at the Dungeon door. It opens, and Ordonio enters t 
with a goblet in his hand. 

Ordonio- 
Hail, potent wizard ! in my gayer mood 



I poured forth a libation to old Pluto, 

And as I brimmed the bowl, I thought on thee, 

Thou hast conspired against my life and honor, 

Hast tricked me foully ; yet I hate thee not. 

Why should I hate thee ? this same world of ours, 

'Tis but a pool amid a storm of rain, 

And we the air-bladders that course up and down, 

And joust and tilt in merry tournament ; 

And when one bubble runs foul of another, 

[waving his hand to Altar 
The weaker needs must break. 

Alvar. 

I see thy heart ! 
There is a frightful glitter in thine eye, 
Which doth betray thee. Inly-tortured man, 
This is the revelry of a drunken anguish, 
Which fain would scoff away the pang of guilt, 
And quell each human feeling. 

Ordonio. 

Feeling ! feeling t 
The death of a man — the breaking of a bubble — 
'Tis true I cannot sob for such misfortunes ; 
But faintness, cold and hunger — curses on me 
If willingly I e'er inflicted them ! 
Come, take the beverage ; this chill place demands it. 

[Ordonio proffers the goblet 

Alvar. 
Ton insect on the wall, 

Which moves this way and that, its hundred limbs, 
Were it a toy of mere mechanic craft, 
It were an infinitely curious thing ! 
But it has life, Ordonio ! life, enjoyment I 
And by the power of its miraculous will 
Wields all the complex movements of its frame 
Unerringly to pleasurable ends ! 
Saw I that insect on this goblet's brim 
I would remove it with an anxious pity I 

Ordonio. 
What meanest thou ? 

Alvar. 
There's poison in the wine. 



37 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

ORDONIO. 
Thou hast guessed right ; there's poison in the wine. 
There's poison in't — which of us two shall drink it ? 
For one of us must die ! 

Alvar. 
Whom dost thou think me ? 

Ordonio. 
The accomplice and sworn friend of Isidore. 

Alvar. 

I know him not. 
And yet, methinks, I have heard the name but lately. 
Means he the husband of the Moorish woman ? 
Isidore ? Isidore ? 

Ordonio. 
Good ! good ! that Lie ! by Heaven, it has restored me. 
Now I am thy master! — Villain ! thou shalt drink it, 
Or die a bitterer death. 

Alvar. 
What a strange solution 
Hast thou found out to satisfy thy fears, 
And drug them to unnatural sleep ? 

[ Alvar takes the goblet, and throwing it to the ground with 
stern contempt. 

My master I 
Ordonio. 
Thou mountebank J 

Alvar. 
Mountebank and villain ! 
What then art thou ? For shame, put up thy sword ! 
What boots a weapon in a withered arm ? 
I fix mine eye upon thee, and thou tremblest ! 
I speak, and fear and wonder crush thy rage, 
And turn it to a motionless distraction ! 
Thou blind self- worshipper ! thy pride, thy cunning, 
Thy faith in universal villany, 
Thy shallow sophisms, thy pretended scorn 
For all thy human brethren — out upon them ! 
What have they done for thee ? have they given thee peace'* 
Cured thee of starting in thy sleep ? or made 
The darkness pleasant when thou wak'st at midnight? 
Art happy when alone ? Canst walk by thyself 
With even step and quiet cheerfulness ? 
Vet, yet thou may'st be saved 



REMORSE. 373 



Ordonio. {vacantly repeating the words.) 
Saved ? saved ? 
Alvar. 



Could I call up one pang of true Remorse I 

Orbonto, 
He told me of the babes that prattle to him, 
His fatherless little ones ! Remorse ! Remorse ! 
Where got'st thou that fool's word ? Curse on Remorse I 
Can it give up the dead, or recompact 
A mangled body ? mangled — dashed to atoms ! 
Not all the blessings of an host of angels 
Can blow away a desolate widow's curse ! 
And though thou spill thy heart's blood for atonement, 
It will not weigh against an orphan's tear ! 

Alvar. {almost overcome by his feelings.) 

But Alvar 

Ordonio. 

Ha ! it chokes thee in the throat, 
Even thee ; and yet I pray thee speak it out — 
Still Alvar ! — Alvar ! — howl it in mine ear ! 
Heap it like coals of fire upon my heart, 
And shoot it hissing through my brain ! 

Alvar. 

Alas! 
That day when thou didst leap from off the rock 
Into the waves, and grasped thy sinking brother, 
And bore him to the strand ; then, son of Valdez, 
How sweet and musical the name of Alvar ! 
Then, then, Ordonio, he was dear to thee, 
And thou wert dear to him : Heaven only knows 
How very dear thou wert ! Why did'st thou hate him ? 

Heaven ! how he would fall upon thy neck, 
And weep forgiveness ! 

Ordonio. 
Spirit of the dead ! 
Methinks I know thee ! ha ! my brain turns wild 
At its own dreams ! — off — off — fantastic shadow I 

Alvar. 

1 fain would tell thee what I am ! but dare not ! 



One pang I 



374 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Ordonio. 
Cheat ! villain ! traitor ! whatsoe'er thou be — 
I fear thee, Man t 

Teresa, {rushing out and falling on Alvar' s neck.) 

Ordonio ! 'tis thy Brother. 
[Ordonio with frantic mildness rushes upon Alvar with his 
sword. Teresa flings herself on Ordonio and arrests his 
arm. 

Stop, madman, stop 1 

Alvar. 
Does then this thin disguise impenetrably 
Hide Alvar from thee ? Toil and painful wounds 
And long imprisonment in unwholesome dungeons, 
Have marred perhaps all trait and lineament 
Of what I was ! But chiefly, chiefly, brother, 
My anguish for thy guilt ! 

Ordonio — Brother ! 
Kay, nay, thou shalt embrace me. 

Ordonio. {drawing back, and gazing at Alvar with a countenance 
of at once aioe and terror. . 

Touch me not ! 
Touch not pollution Alvar ! I will die. 

[He attempts to fall on his sword, Alvar and Teresa prevent 
him. 

Alvar. 
We will find means to save your honor. Live, 
Oh live, Ordonio ! for our father's sake ! 
Spare his gray hairs ! 

Teresa. 
And you may yet be happy. 

Ordonio. 
O horror ! not a thousand years in heaven 
Could recompose this miserable heart, 
Or make it capable of one brief joy ! 
Live ! Live 1 Why yes ! 'TM r ere well to live with you : 
For is it fit a villain should be proud ? 

My Brother ! I will kneel to you, my Brother ! [kneeling. 

Forgive me, Alvar ! — Curse me with forgiveness ! 

Alvar. 
Call back thy soul, Ordonio, and look round thee ! 
Now is the time for greatness ! Think that heaven — 



REMORSE. 375 



Teresa. 
O mark his eye ! he hears not what you say. 

Ordonio. {pointing at the vacancy.) 
Yes, mark his eye ! there's fascination in it ! 
Thou saidst thou didst not know him — That is he I 
Tie comes upon m* : 

Alvar. 
Heal, O heal him, Heaven ! 

Ordonio. 
Nearer and nearer ! and I cannot stir ! 
Will no one hear these stifled groans, and wake me ? 
He would have died to save me, and I killed him — 
A husband and a father ! — 

Teresa. 
Some secret poison 
Drinks up his spirits ! 

Ordonio. (fiercely recollecting himself.) 
Let the Eternal Justice 
Prepare my punishment in the obscure world — 
I will not bear to live — to live — O agony ! 
And be myself alone my own sore torment ! 

[TJie doors of the dungeon owe broken open, and in rush Ah 
hadra, and the band of Morescoes. 

Alhadra. 
Seize first that man ! 

[ Alvar presses onward to defend Ordonio, 

Ordonio. 
Off, Ruffians ! I have flung away my sword. 
Woman, my life is thine ! to thee I give it ! 
Off ! he that touches me with his hand of flesh, 
I'll rend his limbs asunder ! I have strength 
With this bare arm to scatter you like ashes. 

Alhadra. 
My husband 

Ordonio. 
Yes, I murdered him most foully. 

Alvar and Teresa. 
O horrible I 



Alhadra. 
Why didst thou leave his children ? 
Demon, thou shouldst have sent thy dogs of hell 
To lap their blood. Then, then, I might have hardened 
My soul in misery, and have had comfort. 
I would have stood far off, quiet though dark, 
And bade the race of men raise up a mourning 
For a deep horror of a desolation, 
Too great to be one soul's particular lot ! 
Brother of Zagri ! let me lean upon thee. 

[struggling to suppress her feelings. 
The time is not yet come for woman's anguish, 
I have not seen his blood — Within an hour 
Those little ones will crowd around and ask me, 
Where is our father ? I shall curse thee then ! 
Wert thou in heaven, my curse would pluck thee thence I 

Teresa. 
He doth repent ! See, see, I kneel to thee ! 

let him live ! That aged man, his father— 

Alhadra. {sternly.) 
W hy had he such a son ? 

[Shouts from the distance of, Rescue ! Rescue ! Alvar ! 
Alvar ! and the voice of Valdez heard, 

Alhadra. 
Rescue ? — and Isidore's spirit unavenged ? 

The deed be mine ! [suddenly stabs Ordonio. 

Now take my Life ! 

Ordonio. {staggering from the wound.) 

Atonement ! 
Alvar. {while with Teresa supporting Ordonio.) 
Arm of avenging Heaven 

Thou hast snatched from me my most cherished hope — 
But go ! my word was pledged to thee. 

Ordonio. 

Away! 
Brave not my Father's Rage ! I thank thee ! Thou — 

then turning his eyes languidly to Alvar, 
She hath avenged the blood of Isidore ! 

1 stood in silence like a slave before her 

That I might taste the wormwood and the gall, 



REMORSE. 377 



And satiate this self-accusing heart 

With bitterer agonies than death can give. 

Forgive me, Alvar ! — 

Oh ! — couldst thou forget me ! [Dies. 

[Alvar and Teresa bend over the body of Ordonio. 

Alhadra. (to the Moors.) 
i thank thee, Heaven ! thou hast ordained it wisely, 
That still extremes bring their own cure. That point 
In misery, which makes the oppressed Man 
Regardless of his own life, makes him too 
Lord of the Oppressor's — Knew I an hundred men 
Despairing, but not palsied by despair, 
This arm should shake the Kingdoms of the World ; 
The deep foundations of iniquity 

Should sink away, earth groaning from beneath them ; 
The strong holds of the cruel men should fall, 
Their Temples and their mountainous Towers should fall, 
Till Desolation seemed a beautiful thing, 
And all that were and had the spirit of Life, 
Sang a new song to her who had gone forth, 
Conquering and still to conquer ! 

[Alhadra hurries off with the Moors ; the stage fills with 
armed peasants and servants, Zulimez and Valdez at 
their head. Valdez rushes into Alvar' s arms. 

Alvar. 
Turn not thy face that way, my father ! hide, 
Oh hide it from his eye ! Oh let thy joy 
Flow in unmingled stream through thy first blessing. 

[both kneel to Valdez. 

Valdez. 
My Son ! My Alvar ! bless, Oh bless him, Heaven ! 



Me too, my Father ? 



Teresa. 



Valdez. 

Bless, Oh bless my children ! [both rise. 
Alvar. 
Delights so full, if unalloyed with grief, 
Were ominous. In these strange dread events 
Just Heaven instructs us with an awful voice, 
That Conscience rules us e'en against our choice. 
Our inward Monitress to guide or warn, 
If listened to ; but if repelled with scorn, 



At length, as dire Remorse, she re-appears, 
Works in our guilty hopes and selfish fears ! 
Still bids, Remember ! and still cries, Too late ! 
And while she scares us, goads us to our fate. 



APPENDIX. 

The following Scene, as unfit for the Stage, was taken from the Tragedy, in the 
year 1797, and published in the Lyrical Ballads. But this work having been long out 
of print, and it having been determined, that this with my other poems in that col- 
lection (the Nightingale, Love, and the Ancient Mariner) should be omitted in 
any future edition, I have been advised to reprint it, as a note to the Second Scene of 
Act the Fourth, p. 360. 

Enter Teresa and Selma. 

Teresa. 
'Tis said, he spake of you familiarly, 
As mine and Alvar's common foster-mother. 

Selma. 
Now blessings on the man, whoe'er he be, 
That joined your names with mine ! O my sweet Lady, 
As often as I think of those dear times, 
When you two little ones would stand, at eve, 
On each side of my chair, and make me learn 
All you had learnt in the day ; and how to talk 

In gentle phrase ; then bid me sing to you 

'Tis more like heaven to come, than what has been ! 

Teresa. 
But that entrance, Selma? 

Selma. 
Can no one hear ? It is a perilous talel 

Teresa. 
No one. 

Selma. 
My husband's father told it me, 
Poor old Sesina — angels rest his soul ; 
He was a woodman, and could fell and saw 
With lusty arm. Tou know that huge round beam 
Which props the hanging wall of the old Chapel ? 



REMORSE. 379 



Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree, 

He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined 

With thistle-beards, and such small locks of wool 

As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home, 

And reared him at the then Lord Valdez's cost. 

And so th£ babe grew up a pretty boy, 

A pretty boy, but most unteachable — 

And never learnt a prayer, nor told a bead, 

But knew the names of birds, and mocked their notes, 

And whistled, as he were a bird himself : 

And all the autumn 'twas his only play 

To gather seeds of wild-flowers, and to plant them 

With earth and water on the stumps of trees. 

A Friar, who gathered simples in the wood, 

A gray-haired man, he loved this little boy : 

The boy loved him, and, when the friar taught him, 

He soon could write with the pen ; and from that time 

Lived chiefly at the Convent or the Castle. 

So he became a rare and learned youth : 

But O! poor wretch ! he read, and read, and read, 

'Till his brain turned ; and ere his twentieth year 

He had unlawful thoughts of many things ; 

And though he prayed, he never loved to pray 

With holy men, nor in a holy place. 

But yet his speech, it was so soft and sweet, 

The late Lord Valdez ne'er was wearied with him. 

And once, as by the north side of the chapel 

They stood together, chained in deep discourse, 

The earth heaved under them with such a groan, 

That the wall tottered, and had wellnigh fallen 

"Right on their heads. My Lord was sorely frightened ; 

A fever seized him, and he made confession 

Of all the heretical and lawless talk 

Which brought this judgment : so the youth was seized, 

And cast into that hole. My husband's father 

Sobbed like a child — it almost broke his heart : 

And once as he was working near this dungeon, 

He heard a voice distinctly \ 'twas the youth's, 

Who sung a doleful song about green fields, 

How sweet it were on lake or wide savannah 

To hunt for food, and be a naked man, 

And wander up and down at liberty. 

He always doted on the youth, and now 

His love grew desperate \ and defying death, 

He made that cunning entrance I described 

And the young man escaped. 



380 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Teresa. 

'Tis a sweet tale : 
Such as would lull a listening child to sleep, 
His rosy face besoiled with un wiped tears. 
And what became of him ? 

Selma. 

He went on shipboard 
With those bold voyagers who made discovery 
Of golden lands, Sesina\s younger brother 
Went likewise, and when he returned to Spain, 
He told Sesina, that the poor mad youth. 
Soon after they arrived in that new world, 
In spite of his dissuasion, seized a boat, 
And all alone set sail by silent moonlight 
Up a great river, great as any sea, 
And ne'er was heard of more : but 'tis supposed, 
He lived and died among the savage men, 



Note to the words*' yon are a painter,* p. 336, Scene II. Act II. 

The following lines I have preserved in this place not so much as explanatory ol 
the picture of the assassination, as (if I may say so without disrespect to the Public, 
to gratify my own feelings, the passage being no mere fancy portrait , but a slight, yet 
not unfaithful, profile of one,* who still lives nobilitate fe'lix, arte clarior, vita coleu- 
dissimus. 

Zulimez. (speaking of Alvar in the third person.) 
Such was the noble Spaniard's own relation. 
He told me, too, how in his early youth, 
And his first travels, 'twas his choice or chance 
To make long sojourn in sea-wedded Venice ; 
There won the love of that divine old man. 
Courted by mightiest kings, the famous Titian ! 
Who, like a second and more lovely Nature, 
By the sweet mystery of lines and colors 
Changed the blank canvas to a magic mirror. 
That made the Absent present ; and to Shadows 
Gave light, depth, substance, bloom, yea, thought and motion 
He loved the old man. and revered his art : 
And though of noblest birth and ample fortune, 
The young enthusiast thought it no scorn 
But his inalienable ornament, 
To be his pupil, and with filial zeal 
By practice to appropriate the sage lessons, 
Which the gay, smiling old man gladly gave. 

* Sir George Beaumont. [Written 1814.] 



REMORSE. 3 Sl 



The Art, he honored thus, requited him : 
And in the following and calamitous years 
Beguiled the hours of his captivity. 

Alhadra. 
And then he framed this picture ? and unaided 
By arts unlawful, spell, or talisman ? 

Alvar. 
A potent spell, a mighty talisman ! 
The imperishable memory of the deed, 
Sustained by love, and grief, and indignation ! 
So vivid were the forms within his brain, 
His very eyes, when shut, made pictures of them t 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 

A¥ HISTORICAL DRAMA. 

1794. 



TO 

H. MARTIN, Esq., 

OF JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE. 

Dear Sir,— Accept, as a small testimony of my grateful attachment, the U.<urtng 
Dramatic Poem, in which I have endeavored to detail, in an interesting form, Hie fall 
of a man whose great had actions have casta disastrous lustre on his 'name.. In the 
execution of the work, as intricacy of plot could not have been attempted without a 
>:ross violation of recent facts, it has been my sole aii» to imitate the impassioned and 
highly-figurative language of the French orators, and to develop the characters of the 
thief actors on a vast stage of horrors. 

Yours fraternally, 
Jesls College, Sept. 22, 1794. S. Z. Coleridge. 



ACT L 



Scene. — The Tuilleries. 
Enter Barrere. 

Barrere. 

The tempest gathers — be it mine to seek 

A friendly shelter, ere it bursts upon him. 

But where ? and how ? I fear the Tyrant's soul — 

Sudden in action fertile in resource, 

And rising awful 'mid impending ruins ; 

In splendor gloomy, as the midnight meteor, 

That fearless thwarts the elemental war. 

When last in secret conference we met, 

He scowled upon me with suspicious rage, 

Making his eye the inmate of my bosom. 

* The fall of Robespierre was published in 1794, but as it was only partially written 
by Coleridge we place it next to his magnificent translation of Schiller. The second 
and third Acts were written by Southey, but as the play would be incomplete without 
them, we leave it as Coleridge published it. 
(382) 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 3 8 3 

I know he scorns me — and I feel, I hate him — 

Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble ! [Exit. 

Enter Tallien and Legendre. 
Tallien. 
It was Barrere, Legendre ! didst thou mark him ? 
Abrupt he turned, yet lingered as he went, 
And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning. 

Legendre. . 
I marked him well. I met his eye's last glance; 
It menaced not so proudly as of yore. 

Methought he would have spoke— but that he dared not-* 
Such agitation darkened on his brow. 

Tallien. 
'Twas all-distrusting guilt that kept from bursting 
The imprisoned secret struggling in the face : 
E'en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards 
Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile 
Hung in mid-air, red with its mutinous burthen. 

Legendre. 
Perfidious Traitor ! — still afraid to bask 
In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent 
Lurks in the thicket of the Tyrant's greatness, 
Ever prepared to sting who shelters him. 
Each thought, each action in himself converges ; 
And love and friendship on his coward heart 
Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice : 
To all attached, by turns deserting all, 
Cunning and dark — a necessary villain ! 

Tallien. 
Yet much depends upon him — well you know 
With plausible harangue 'tis his to paint 
Defeat like victory — and blind the mob 
With truth-mixed falsehood. They, led on by him, 
And wild of head to work their own destruction, 
Support with uproar what he plans in darkness. 

Legendre. 
O what a precious name is Liberty 
To scare or cheat the simple into slaves ! 
Yes, — we must gain him over : by dark hints 
We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, 



384 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Till the cold coward blaze a patriot. 

O Danton ! murdered friend ! assist my counsels — 

Hover around me on sad memory's wings, 

And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart. 

Tallien ! if but to-morrow's fateful sun 

Beholds the Tyrant living — we are dead ! 

Tallien. 
Yet his keen eye that flashes mighty meanings— 

Legendre. 
Fear not — or rather fear the alternative, 
And seek for courage e'en in cowardice — 
But see — hither he comes — let us away ! 
His brother with him, and the bloody Couthon, 
And high of haughty spirit, young St. Just. \~Exeunt 

Enter Robespierre, Couthon, St. Just, and Robespierre J idt. 

Robespierre. 
What ! did La Fayette fall before my power ? 
And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues ? 
The fervent eloquence of Vergniaud's tongue ? 
And Brissot's thoughtful soul unbribed and bold ? 
Did zealot armies haste in vain to save them ? 
What! did the assassin's dagger aim its point, 
Vain as a dream of murder, at my bosom ? 
And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien ? 
The Adonis Tallien ? banquet-hunting Tallien ? 
Him, whose heart flutters at the dice-box ? Him, 
Who ever on the harlot's downy pillow 
Resigns his head impure to feverish slumbers ! 

St. Just. 
I cannot fear him — yet we must not scorn him. 
Was it not Antony that conquered Brutus, • 

The Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony ? 
The state is not yet. purified : and though 
The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies 
The thick black sediment of all the factions — 
It needs no magic hand to stir it up ! 

Couthon. 
we did wrong to spare them — fatal error ! 
Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died ? 
And Collot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes ? 
I've feared him, since his iron heart endured 
To make of Lyons one vast human shambles, 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 385 



Compared with which the sun-scorched wilderness 
Of Zara were a smiling paradise. 

St. Just. 
Rightly thou judgest, Couthon ! He is one 
Who flies from silent solitary anguish, 
Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar 
Of elements. The howl of maniac uproar 
Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself. 
A calm is fatal to him — then he feels 
The dire upboilings of the storm within him. 
A tiger mad with inward wounds ! — I dread 
The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt. 

Robespierre. 
Is not the commune ours? the stern tribunal ? 
Dumas'? and Vivier ? Fleuriot ? and Louvet ? 
And Henriot ! We'll denounce a hundred, nor 
Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward. 

Robespierre Jun. 
Nay — I am sick of blood ; my aching heart 
Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors 
That still have gloomed the rise of the republic. 
I should have died before Toulon, when war 
Became the patriot ! 

Robespierre. 
Most unworthy wish \ 
He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors, 
Would be himself a traitor, were he not 
A coward ! 'Tis congenial souls alone 
Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate. 
O thou art brave, my brother ! and thine eye 
Full firmly shines amid the groaning battle — 
Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity 
Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest! 
There is unsoundness in the state — To-morrow 
Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre ! 

Robespierre Jun. 
Beware! already do the sections murmur — 
'O the great glorious patriot, Robespierre — 
The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom J ■ 

Couthon. 
'Twere folly sure to work great rl^eds by halves ! 

k.5 



386 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Much I suspect the darksome fickle heart 
Of cold Barrere ! 

ROBESPTERRE. 

I see the villain in him ! 

Robespierre Jun. 
If he — if all forsake thee — what remains ? 

Robespierre. 

Myself ! the steel-strong Rectitude of soul 

And Poverty sublime 'mid circling virtues ! 

The giant Victories, my counsels formed, 

Shall stalk around me with sun-glittering plumes, 

Bidding the darts of calumny fall pointless. 

[Exeunt cceteri. Manet Couthon. 

COUTHOX. (sohl.S.) 

So we deceive ourselves ! What goodly virtues 

Bloom on the poisonous branches of ambition ! 

Still, Robespieire ! thou'lt guard thy country's freedom 

To despotise in all the patriot's pomp ; 

While Conscience, 'mid the mob's applauding clamors, 

Sleeps in thine ear, nor whispers — blood-stained tyrant ! 

Yet what is Conscience? Superstition's dream, 

Making such deep impression on our sleep 

That long the awakened breast retains it horrors ! 

But he returns — and with him conies Barrere. [Exit COUTHON. 

Enter Robespierre and Barrere. 

Robespierre. 
There is no danger but in cowardice. — 
Barrere ! we make the danger, when we fear it. 
We have such force without, as will suspend 
The cold and trembling treachery of these members. 

Barrere. 
'Twill be a pause of terror — 

Robespierre. 

But to whom ? 
Rather the short-lived slumber of the tempest, 
Gathering its strength anew. The dastard traitors ! 
Moles, that would undermine the rooted oak ! 
A pause !— a moment's pause ? — 'Tis all their life. 



Barrere. 
Yet much they talk — and plausible their speech. 
Couthon's decree has given such powers, that — 



Robespierre. 

That what ? 
Barrere. 



The freedom of debate- 



ROBESPIERRE. 

Transparent mark! 
They wish to clop; the wheels of government, 
Forcing the hand that guides the vast machine 
To bribe them to their duty — English patriots, 
Are not the congregated clouds of war 
Black all around us ? In our very vitals 
Works not the king-bred poison of rebellion ? 
Say, what shall counteract the selfish plottirigs 
Of wretches, cold of heart, nor awed by fears 
Of him, whose power directs the eternal justice ? 
Terror ? or secret sapping gold ' The first 
Heavy, but transient as the ills that cause it ; 
And to the virtuous patriot rendered light 
By the necessities that gave it birth : 
The other fouls the fount of the republic, 
Making it flow polluted to all ages ; 
Iniioculates the state with a slow venom, 
That once imbibed, must be continued ever. 
Myself incorruptible I ne'er could bribe them— 
Therefore they hate me. 

Barrere. 

Are the sections friendly ? 

Robespierre. 
There are who wish my ruin — but I'll make them 
Blush for the crime in blood ! 

Barrere. 

Nay— but I tell thee 
Thou art too fond of slaughter— and the right 
(If right it be) workest by most foul means ! 

Robespierre* 
Self-centering Fear ! how well thou canst ape Mercy ! 
Too fond of slaughter — matchless hypocrite ! 



388 COLERIDGE'S rOEMS. 



Thought Barrere so, when Brissot, Danton, died? 

Thought Barrere so, when through the streaming streets 

Of Paris red-eyed Massacre o'er wearied 

Reeled heavily, intoxicate with blood ? 

And when (0 heavens !) in Lyons' death-red square 

Sick fancy groaned o'er putrid hills of slain, 

Didst thou not fiercely laugh, and bless the day ? 

W hy, thou hast been the mouth-piece of all horrors, 

And, like a blood-hound, crouched for murder ! Now 

Aloof thou standest from our tottering pillar, 

Or, like a frighted child behind its mother, 

liidest thy pale face in the skirts of — Mercy ! 

Barrere. 

prodigality of eloquent anger ! 

Why now I see thou'rt weak — thy case is desperate ! 
The cool ferocious Robespierre turned scolder ! 

Robespierre. 
Who from a bad man's bosom wards the blow 
Reserves the whetted dagger for his own. 
Denounced twice — and twice I saved his life ! [Exit. 

Barrere. 
The sections will support them — there's the point ! 
No ! he can never weather out the storm — 
Yet he is sudden in revenge — No more ! 

1 must away to Tallien. [Exit. 

Scene changes to the house of Adelaide. 

Adelaide enters, speaking to a Servant. 

Adelaide. 
Didst thou present the letter that I gave thee ? 
Did Tallien answer, he would soon return? 

Servant. 
lie is in the Tuilleries — with him Legendre — 
in deep discourse they seemed : as I approached 
He waved his hand as bidding me retire : 
I did not interrupt him. [Returns the letter. 

Adelaide. 
Thou didst rightly. 

[Exit Servant. 
O this new freedom ? at how dear a price 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 589 



We've bought the seeming good ! The peaceful virtues 

And every blandishment of private life, 

The father's cares, the mother's fond endearments, 

All sacrificed to liberty's wild riot. 

The winged hours, that scattered roses round me, 

Languid and sad drag their slow course alomr, 

And *hake big gall-drops from their heavy wings. 

But I will steal away these anxious thoughts 

By the soft languishment of warbled airs, 

If haply melodies may lull the sense 

Of sorrow for awhile. 

Soft Music. Enter T allien. 

Tallien. 
Music, my love ? breathe again that air 1 
Soft nurse of pain, it soothes the weary soul 
Of care, sweet as the whispered breeze of evening 
That plays around the sick man's throbbing temple*. 

song. 
Tell me, on what holy ground 
May domestic peace be found ? 
Halcyon daughter of the skies, 
Far on fearful wing she flies, 
From the pomp of sceptred state, 
From the rebel's noisy hate. 

In a cottaged vale she dwells 
List'ning to the Sabbath bells ! 
Still around her steps are seen, 
Spotless honor's meeker mien, 
Love, the fire of pleasing fears, 
Sorrow smiling through her tears, 
And conscious of the past employ, 
Memory, bosom-spring of joy. 

Tallien. 
I thank thee, Adelaide ! 'twas sweet, though mournful. 
But why thy brow o'ercast, thy cheek so wan ? 
Thou lookest a lorn maid beside some stream 
That sighs away the soul in fond despairing, 
While sorrow sad, like the dank willow near her, 
Hangs o'er the troubled fountain of her eye. 

Adelaide. 
Oh ! rather let me ask what mystery lours 



39° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



On Tallien 's darkened brow. Thou dost me wrong — 
Thy soul distempered, can my heart be tranquil ? 

T ALLIEN. 

Tell me, by whom thy brother's blood was spilt ? 
Asks he not vengeance on these patriot murderers ? 
it has been borne too tamely. Fears and curses 
Groan on our midnight beds, and e'en our dreams 
Threaten the assassin hand of Robespierre. 
He dies ! — nor has the plot escaped his fears. 

Adelaide. 
Yet — yet — be cautious ! much I fear the Commune — 
The tyrant's creatures, and their fate with his 
Fast linked in indissoluble union. 
The pal h Convention — 

Tallien. 
Hate him as they fear him, 
Impatient of the chain, resolved and ready. 

Adelaide. 
The enthusiast mob, confusion's lawless sons — 

Tallien. 
They are weary of his stern morality, 
The fair-masked offspring of ferocious pride. 
The sections too support the delegates : 
All — all is ours ! e'en now the vital air 
Of Liberty, condensed awhile, is bursting 
(Force irresistible !) from its compressure — 
To shatter the arch-chemist in the explosion ! 

Enter Billaud Varennes and Bourdon L'Oise. 

[Adelaide retire* 
Bourdon L'Oise. 
Tallien ! was this a time for amorous conference ? 
Ilenriot, the tyrant's most devoted creature, 
Marshals the force of Paris : The fierce club, 
With Vivier at their head, in loud acclaim, 
Have sworn to make the guillotine in blood 
Float on the scaffold — But who comes here? 

Enter Barrere abruptly, 

Barrere. 
Say, are j*o friends to freedom ? I am hers I 






THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 39 * 



Let us, forgetful of .ill common feuds, 

Rally around her shrine ! E'en now the tyrant 

Concerts a plan of instant massacre ! 

BlLLAUD VARENNES. 

Away to the Convention ! with that voice, 
So oft the herald of glad victory, 
Rouse their fallen spirits, thunder in their ears 
The names of tyrant, plunderer, assassin ! 
The violent workings of my soul within 
Anticipate the monster's blood ! 
[Cry from the street of—' No Tyrant ! Down with the Tyrant ! 

Tallien. 

Hear ye that outcry ? — If the trembling members 

Even for a moment hold his fate suspended, 

I swear by the holy poniard , that stabbed Caesar, 

This dagger probes his heart ! [Exeunt omnes. 



ACT II.— By Southey. 
Scene. — The Convention. — Robespierre mounts the Tribune 

Robespierre. 

Once more befits it that the voice of truth, 

Fearless in innocence, though leaguered round 

By envy and her hateful brood of hell, 

Be heard amid this hall ; once more befits 

The patriot, whose prophetic eye so oft 

Has pierced through faction's veil, to flash on crimes 

Of deadliest import. Mouldering in the grave 

Sleeps Capet's caitiff corse ; my daring hand 

Le veiled to earth his blood-cemented throne, 

My voice declared his guilt, and stirred up France 

To call for vengeance. I too dug the grave 

Where sleep the Girondists, detected band ! 

Long with the show of freedom they abused 

Her ardent sons. Long time the well-turned phrase 

The high-fraught sentence, and the lofty tone 

Of declamation thundered in this hall, 

Till reason, 'midst a labyrinth of words 



39^ COLERIDGE '$ POEMS. 

Perplexed, in silence seemed to yield assent. 

T durst oppose. Soul of my honored friend. 

Spirit of Marat, upon thee I call — 

Thou know'st me faithful, know'st with what warm zeal 

I urged the cause of justice, stripped the mask 

From faction's deadly visage, and destroyed 

Her traitor brood. Whose patriot arm hurled down 

Hebert and Ronsin, and the villain friends 
I Of Danton, foul apostate ! those, who long 
: Marked treason's form in liberty's fair garb, 

Long deluged France with blood, and durst defy 

Omnipotence ! But I it seems am false ! 

I am a traitor too ! I Robespierre ! 

I — at whose name the dastard despot brood 

Look pale with fear, and call on saints to help them ! 

Who dares accuse me ? who shall dare belie 

My spotless name ? Speak, ye accomplice band ; 

Of what am I accused ? of what strange crime 

Is Maximilian Robespierre accused, 

That through this hall the buzz of discontent 

Should murmur ? who shall speak ? 

BlLLAUD VARENNES. 

patriot tongue 
Belying the foul heart ! Who was it urged 
Friendly to tyrants that accurst decree, 
Whose influence brooding o'er this hallowed hall, 
Has chilled each tongue to silence ? Who destroyed 
The freedom of debate, and carried through 
The fatal law that doomed the delegates, 
Unheard before their equals, to the bar 
Where cruelty sat throned, and murder reigned 
With her Dumas co-equal ? Say, thou man 
Of mighty eloquence, whose law was that ? 

Couthon. 
That law was mine. I urged it — I proposed — 
The voice of France assembled in her sons 
Assented, though the tame and timid voice 
Of traitors murmured. I advised that law — 
I justify it. It was wise and good. 

Barrere. 
Oh, wondrous wise and most convenient too ? 
I have long marked thee, Robespierre — and now 
Proclaim thee traitor — tyrant ! [Loud applauses. 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. ■ 393 

Robespierre. 
I am a traitor ! oh, that I had fallen 
When Regnault lifted high the murderous knife, 
Regnault the instrument belike of those 
Who now themselves would fain assassinate, 
And legalize their murders. I stand here 
An isolated patriot — hemmed around 
By faction's noisy pack ; beset and bayed 
By the foul hell-hounds who know no escape 
From justice' outstretched arm, but by the force 
That pierces through her breast. 

[Murmurs, and shouts of — ' Down with the Tyrant I* 

Robespierre. 
Nay, but I will be heard. There was a time 
When Robespierre began, the loud applauses 
Of honest patriots drowned the honest sound. 
But times are changed, and villany prevails. 

COLLOT D'llERBOIS- 

No — villany shall fall. France could not brook 
A monarch's sway — sounds the dictator's name 
More soothing to her ears ? 

Bourdon- L'Oise. 

Rattle her chains 
More musically now than Avhen the hand 
Of Brissot forged her fetters ; or the crew 
Of Hebert thundered out their blasphemies, 
And Danton talked of virtue ? 

Robespierre. 

Oh, that Brissot 
Were here again to thunder in this hall ! 
That Hebert lived, and Danton's giant form 
Scowled once again defiance ! so my soul 
Might cope with worthy foes. 

People of France 
Hear me ! Beneath the vengeance of the law, 
Traitors have perished countless ; more survive : 
The hydra-headed faction lifts anew 
Her daring front, and fruitful from her wounds, 
Cautious from past defeats, contrives new wiles 
Against the sons of Freedom. 

Tallien. 

Freedom lives ! 
Oppression falls — for France has felt her chains, 



Has burst them too. Who traitor-like stept forth 

Amid the hall of Jacobins to save 

Cam i lie Desmoulins, and the venal wretch 

D' Eglantine ? 

Robespierre. 
I did — for I thought them honest. 

And Heaven forfend that vengeance e'er should strike, 
Ere justice doomed the blow. 

Barrere. 

Traitor, thou didst. 
Yes, the accomplice of their dark designs, 
Awhile didst thou defend them, when the storm 
Loured at safe distance. When the clouds frowned darker, 
Feared for yourself and left them to their fate. 
Oh, I have marked thee long, and through the veil 
Seen thy foul projects ; yes, ambitious man, 
Self-willed dictator o'er the realm of France, 
The vengeance thou hast planned for patriots 
Falls on thy head. Look how thy brother's deeds 
Dishonor thine ! He the firm patriot, 
Thou the foul parricide of Liberty ! 

Robespierre Jun - . 
Barrere — attempt not meanly to divide 
Me from my brother. I partake his guilt, 
For I partake his virtue. 

Robespierre. 

Brother, by my soul, 
More dear I hold thee to my heart, that thus 
With me thou dar'st to tread the dangerous path 
Of virtue, than that nature twined her cords 
Of kindred round us. 

Barrere. 
Yes, allied in guilt, 
Even as in blood ye are. Oh, thou worst wretch, 
Thou worse than Sylla ! hast thou not proscribed, 
Yea, in most foul anticipation slaughtered, 
Each patriot representative of France ? 

Bourdon L'Oise. 

Was not young Caesar too to reign 
O'er all our valiant armies in the south, 
And still continue there his merchant wiles ? 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 395 



Robespierre Jun. 
His merchant wiles ! O grant me patience. Heaven ! 
Was it by merchant wiles I gained you back 
Ton Ion, when proudly on her captive towers 
Waved high the English flag ? or fought I then 
With merchant wiles, when sword in hand I led 
Your troops to conquest? fought I merchant-like, 
Or bartered I for victory, when death 
Strode o'er the reeking streets with giant-stride, 
And shook his ebon plumes, and sternly smiled 
Amid the bloody banquet ? when appalled 
The hireling sons of England spread the sail 
Of safety, fought I like a merchant then ? 
Oh patience I patience ! 

Bourdon L'Oise. 

How this younger tyrant 
Mouths out defiance to us ! even so 
He had ImI on the armies of the south. 
Till once again the plains of France were drenched 
With her best blood. 

COLLOT D'HERBOIS. 

Till, once again displayed, 
Lyons' sad tragedy had called me forth 
The minister of wrath, whilst slaughter by 
Had bathed in human blood. 

Dubois Crance. 

No wonder, friend* 
That we are traitors — that our heads must fall 
Beneath the axe of death ! When Csesar-like 
Reigns Robespierre, 'tis wisely done to doom 
The fall of Brutus. Tell me, bloody man, 
Hast thou not parcelled out deluded France, 
As it had been some province won in fight 
Between your curst triumvirate ? You, Couthon, 
Go with my brother to the southern plains ; 
St. Just, be yours the army of the north , 
Meantime I rule at Paris. 

Robespierre. 

Matchless knave ! 
What—not one blush of conscience on thy cheek — 
Not one poor blush of truth I Most likelv tale ! 
That I who ruined Brissot's towering hopes, 



39^ COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

I who discovered Hubert's impious wiles, 

And sharped fov Danton's recreant neck the axe, 

Should now be traitor ! had I been so minded, 

Think ye I had destroyed the very men 

Whose plots resemble mine ! Bring; forth your proofs 

Of this deep treason. Tell me in who'se breast 

Found ye the fatal scroll ? or tell me rather 

Who forged t*ie shameless falsehood ? 

COLLOT D'HERBOIS. 

Ask you proofs ? 
Robespierre, what proofs were asked when Brissot died ? 

Legendre. 

What proofs adduced you when the Daiiton died? 
When at the imminent peril of my life 
1 rose, and fearless of thy frowning- brow. 
Proclaimed him guiltless ? 

Robespierre. 
I remember well 
The fatal day. I do repent me much 
That I killed Caesar and spared Antony. 
But I have been too lenient. I have spared 
The stream of blood, and now my own must flow 
To fill the current. {Loud applauses. 

Triumph not too soon, 
Justice may yet be victor. 

Enter St. Just, and mounts the Tribune, 

St. Just. 

I come from the committee — charged to speak 
Of matters of high import. I omit 
Their orders. Representatives of France, 
Boldly in his own person speaks St. Just 
What his own heart shall dictate. 

Tallien. 

Hear ye this, 
Insulted delegates of France ? St. Just 
From your committee comes — comes charged to speak 
Of matters of high import — yet omits 
Their orders ! Representatives of France, 
That bold man I denounce, who disobeys 
The nation's orders — I denounce St. Just. {Loud applauses. 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 397 



St. Just. 
Hear me ! [ Violent murmurs. 

Robespierre. 
He shall be heard. 

Bourdon L'Oise. 
Must we contaminate this sacred hall 
With the foul breath of treason ? 

COLLOT D'HERBOIS. 

Drag him away ! 
Hence with him to the bar. 

Couthon. 

Oh, just proceedings 1 
Robespierre prevented liberty of speech — 
And Robespierre is a tyrant ! Tallien reigns, 
He dreads to hear the voice of innocence — 
And St. Just must be silent ! 

Legexdre. 

Heed we well 
l'hat justice guide our actions. No light import 
Attends this day. I move St. Just be heard. 

Freron. 
Inviolate be the sacred right of man, 
The freedom. of debate. [ Violent applauses, ° 

St. Just. 
I may be heard then ! much the times are changed, 
When St. Just thanks this hall for hearing him. 
Robespierre is called a tyrant. Men of France, 
Jadge not too soon. By popular discontent 
Was Aristides driven into exile, 
Was Phocion murdered. Ere ye dare pronounce 
Robespierre is guilty, it befits ye well, 
Consider who accuse him. Tallien, 
Bourdon of Oise — the very men denounced, 
For that their dark intrigues disturbed the plan 
Of government. Legendre the sworn friend 
Of Danton fallen apostate. Dubois Crance, 
He who at Lyons spared the royalists — 
Collot d'Herbois — 

Bourdon L'Oise. 
What — shall the traitor rear 



39& COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



His head amid our tribune — and blaspheme 
Each patriot ? shall the hireling slave of faction— 

St. Just. 
I am of no one faction. I contend 
Against all factions. 

Tallies. 
I espouse the cause 
Of truth. Robespierre on yester-morn pronounced 
Upon his own authority a report : 
To-day St. Just comes down. St. Just neglects 
What the committee orders, and harangues 
From his own will. O citizens of France, 
I weep for you — I weep for my poor country — 
I tremble for the cause of Liberty, 
When individuals shall assume the sway, 
And with more insolence than kingly pride 
Rule the republic. 

BlLLAUD VARENNES. 

Shudder, ye representatives of Fra,nce r 
Shudder with horror. Henriot commands 
The marshalled force of Paris. Henriot, 
Foul parricide — the sworn ally of Hebert, 
Denounced by all — upheld by Robespierre. 
Who spared La Valette ? who promoted him, 
Stained, with the deep dye of nobility ? 
Who to an ex-peer gave the high command ? 
Who screened from justice the rapacious thief? 
Who cast in chains the friends of Liberty ? 
Robespierre, the self-styled patriot Robespierre- 
Robespierre, allied with the villain Daubigne — 
Robespierre, the foul arch- tyrant Robespierre. 

Bourdon L'Oise. 

lie talks of virtue — of morality — 

Consistent patriot ! he Daubigno's friend ! 

ilenriot's supporter virtuous! preach of virtue, 

Yet league with villains, for with Robespierre 

Villains alone ally. Thou art a tyrant ! 

I style thee tyrant, Robespierre. [Loud applauses 

Robespierre. 
Take back the name. Ye citizens of France — ■ 

[Violent clamor. Cries of — ' Down with the Tyrant ! ' 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 399 



TALLIEN. 
Oppression falls. The traitor stands appalled — 
Guilt's iron fangs engrasp his shrinking soul — 
He hears assembled France denounce his crimes I 
He sees the mask torn from his secret sins — 
He trembles on the precipice of fate. 
Fallen guilty tyrant ! murdered by thy ra<r^ 
How many an innocent victim's blood has Ntained 
Fair Freedom's altar ! Sylla-like thy hand 
Marked down the virtues, that, thy foes removed, 
Perpetual Dictator thou might' st reign, 
And tyranize o'er France, and call it freedom ! 
Long time in timid guilt the traitor planned. 
His fearful wiles — success emboldened sin — 
And his stretched arm had grasped the diadem 
Ere now, but that the coward's heart recoiled, 
Lest France awaked should rouse her from her dream, 
And call aloud for vengeance. He, like Caesar, 
With rapid step urged on his bold career, 
Even to the summit of ambitious power, 
And deemed the name of King alone was wanting. 
Was it for this we hurled proud Capet down ? 
Is it for this we wage eternal war 
Against the tyrant horde of murderers, 
The crowned cockatrices whose foul venom 
Infects all Europe ? was it then for this 
We swore to guard our liberty with life, 
That Robespierre should reign ? the spirit of freedom 
Is not yet sunk so low. The glowing flame 
That animates each honest Frenchman's heart 
Not yet extinguished. I invoke thy shade, 
Immortal Brutus ! I too wear a dagger ; 
And if the representatives of France, 
Through fear of favor should delay the sword 
Of justice, Tallien emulates thy virtues ; 
Tallien, like Brutus, lifts the avenging arm • 
Tallien shall save his country. [ Violent applause?. 

BlLLAUD VERENNES. 

I demand 
The arrest of all these traitors. Memorable 
Will be this day for France. 

Robespierre. 

Yes ! Memorable 
This day will be for France— for villains triumph. 



40° COLERIDGE 'S POEMS, 

Lebas. 
I will not share in this day's damning guilt. 

Condemn me too. [Great cry — ' Down with the Tyrants.' 

[The two Robespierres, Couthon, St. Just, and Lebas 
are led off. 



ACT III. (By Southey.) 

Scene continues. 

COLLOT D'HERBOTS. 

Caesar is fallen ! The baneful tree of Java, 

Whose death-distilling boughs dropt poisonous dew, 

Is rooted from its base. This worse than Cromwell, 

The austere, the self-denying Robespierre, 

Even in this hall, where once with terror mute 

We listened to the hypocrite's harangues, 

Has heard hit doom. 

BlLLAUD VARENNES. 

Yet must we not suppose 
The tyrant will fall tamely. His sworn hireling 
Henriot, the daring desperate Henriot 
Commands the force of Paris. I denounce him. 

Freron. 
I denounce Fleuriot too, the mayor of Paris. 
Enter Dubois Crance. 

Dubois Crance. 
Robespierre is rescued. Henriot at the head 
Of the armed force has rescued the fierce tyrant. 

COLLOT D'HERBOIS. 

Ring the tocsin — call all the citizens 

To save their country — never yet has Paris 

Forsook the representatives of France. 

Tallien. 
It is the hour of danger. I propose 
This sitting be made permanent. [Loud ajiplaustx. 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 4° 1 

COLLOT D'HERBOIS. 

The national Convention shall remain 
Firm at its post. 

Enter a Messenger. 

Messenger. 
Robespierre has reached the Commune. They espouse 
The tyrant's cause. St Just is up in arms! 
St. Just — the young ambitious bold St. Just 
Harangues the mob. The sanguinary Couthon 
Thirsts for your blood. [Tocsin rings* 

Tallien. 
These tyrants are in arms against the law : 
Outlaw the rebels. 

Enter Merlin of Bouay. 

Merlin. 
Health to the representatives of France ! 
I passed this moment through the armed force — 
They asked my name — and when they heard a delegate, 
Swore I was not the friend of France. 

COLLOT D'HERBOIS. 

The tyrants threaten us as when they turned 
The cannon's mouth on Brissot. 

Enter another Messenger. 

Second Messenger. 
Vivier harangues the Jacobins — the club 
Espouse the cause of Robespierre. 

Enter another Messenger. 

Third Messenger. 
All's lost — the tyrant triumphs. Henriot leadfe 
The soldiers to his aid — already I hear 
The rattling cannon destined to surround 
This sacred hall. 

Tallien. 
Why, we will die like men then. 
T'\ > representatives of France dare death, 
When duty steels their bosoms. [Loud applauses. 

Tallien. {addressing the galleries.) 

Citizens ! 
France is insulted in her delegates — 
™ 



40 2 COLERID GE 'S POEMS. 

The majesty of the republic is insulted — 
Tyiants are up in arms. An armed force 
Threats the Convention. The Convention swears 
To die, or save the country ! 

[ Violent applauses from the galleries. 

Citizen, {from above.) 
We too swear 
To die or save the country. Follow me. 

[ All the men quit the galleries. 
Enter another Messenger. 

Fourth Messenger. 
Henriot is taken ! — [Loud applauses. 

Henriot is taken. Three of your brave soldiers 
Swore they would seize the rebel slave of tyrants, 
Or perish in the attempt. As he patrolled 
The streets of Paris stirring up the mob, 
They seized him. [Applauses. 

BlLLAUD VARENNES. 

Let the names of these brave men 
Live to the future day. 

Enter Bourdon L'Oise, sword in hand. 

Bourdon L'Oise. 
I've cleared the Commune. [Applauses. 

Through the throng I rushed, 
Brandishing my good sword to drench its blade 
Deep in the tyrant's heart. The timid rebels 
Gave way. 1 met the soldiery — I spake 
Of the dictator's crimes — of patriots chained 
In dark deep dungeons by his lawless rage — 
Of knaves secure beneath his fostering power. 
I spake of Liberty. Their honest hearts 
Caught the warm flame. The general shout burst forth, 
'Live the Convention — Down with Robespierre ! ' [AppktusfS, 

[Shouts from without — 'Down with the Tyrant ! 

Tallien. 
I hear, I hear the soul-inspiring sounds, 
France shall be saved ! her generous sons, attached 
To principles, not persons, spurn the idol 
They worshipped once. Yes, Robespierre shall fall 
As Capet fell ! Oh ! never let us deem 
That France shall crouch beneath a tyrant's throne, 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 403 



That the almighty people who have broke 
On their oppressors' head the oppressive chain, 
Will court again their fetters ! easier were it 
To hurl the cloud-capt mountain from its base, 
Than force the bends of slavery upon men 

Determined to be free ! [Applauses 

Enter Legendre — A pistol in one hand, keys in the other. 

Leg-endre. {flinging down the keys.) 
So — let the mutinous Jacobins meet now 
In the opeij air. [Loud applauses. 

A factious turbulent party 
Lording it o'er the state since Danton died, 
And with him the Cordeliers. — A hireling band 
Of loud-tongued orators controlled the club 
And bade them bow the knee to Robespierre. 
Vivier has 'scaped me. Curse his coward heart — 
This fate-fraught tube of Justice in my hand, 
I rushed into the hall. He marked mine eye 
That beamed its patriot anger, and flashed full 
With death-denouncing meaning. 'Mid the th-rong 
He mingled. I pursued — but staid my hand, 
Lest haply I might shed the innocent blood. [Applauses. 

Freron. 
They took from me my ticket of admission — 
Expelled me from their sittings. — Now, forsooth, 
Humbled and trembling re-insert my name. 
But Freron enters not the club again 
Till it be purged of guilt — till, purified 
Of tyrants and of traitors, honest men 
May breathe the air in safety. [Shouts from without 

Barrere. 
What means this uproar ? if the tyrant band 
Should gain the people once again to rise — 
We are as dead ! 

Tallten. 
And wherefore fear we death f 
Did Brutus fear it ? or the Grecian friends 
Who buried in Hipparchus' breast the sword, 
And died triumphant? Caesar should fear death, 
Brutus mustscorn the bugbear. 

[Shouts from ivilhout — ' Live the Convention ! ' — ' Down with 
the tyrants I ' 



404 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Tallien. 

Hark ! again 
The sounds of honest Freedom I 

Enter Deputies from the Sections. 

Citizen. 
Citizens ! representatives of France ! 
Hold on your steady course. The men of Paris 
Espouse your cause. The men of Paris swear 
They will defend the delegates of Freedom. 

Tallien. 
flear ye this, Colleagues? hear ye this, my brethren? 
And does no thrill of joy pervade your breasts? 
My bosom bounds to rapture. I have seen 
The sons of France shake off the tyrant yoke ; 
I have, as much as lies in mine own arm, . 
Hurled down the usurper. — Come death when it will 
i have lived long enough. [Shouts without 

Barrere. 
Hark ! how the noise increases ! through the gloom 
Of the still evening — harbinger of death 
Kings the tocsin ! the dreadful generate 
Thunders through Paris. — 

[Cry roithout — " Down with the Tyrants f * 

Enter Lecointre. 
Lecointre. 
So may eternal justice blast the foes 
Of France ! so perish all the tyrant brood, 
As Robespierre has perished ! Citizens, 

Caesar is taken. . [Loud and repeated applauses^ 

I marvel not that with such fearless front 
He braved our vengeance, and with angry eye 
Scowled round the hall defiance. He relied 
On Henriot's aid — the Commune's villain friendship, 
And Henriot's boughten succors. Ye have heard 
How Henriot rescued him — how with open arms 
The Commune welcomed in the rebel tyrant — 
How Fleuriot aided, and seditious Vivier 
Stirred up the Jacobins. All had been lost — 
The representatives of France had perished— 
Freedom had sunk beneath the tyrant arm 
Of this foul parricide, but that her spirit 
Inspired the men of Paris. Henriot called 



THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE. 4°5 



'To arms' in vain, whilst Bourdon's patriot voice 



Breathed eloquence, and o'er the Jacobins 

Legendre frowned dismay. The tyrants lied — 

They reached the Hotel. We gathered round — we called 

For vengeance ! Long time, obstinate in despair. 

With knives they hacked around them. Till foreboding 

The sentence of the law, the clamorous cry 

Of joyful thousands hailing their destruction, 

Each sought by suicide to escape the dread 

Of death. Lebas succeeded. From the window 

Leapt the younger Robespierre, but his fractured limb 

Forbade to escape. The self-willed dictator 

Plunged often the keen knife in his dark breast, 

Yet impotent to die. He lives all mangled 

By his own tremulous hand ! All gashed and gored 

He lives to taste the bitterness of death. 

Even now they meet their doom. The bloody Couthon, 

The fierce St. Just, even now attend their tyrant ' 

To fall beneath the axe. I saw the torches 

Flash on their visages a dreadful light — 

I saw them whilst the black blood rolled adown 

Each stern face, even then with dauntless eye 

Scowl round contemptuous, dying as they lived, 

Fearless of fate. [Loud and repeated applause* 

Barrere. {mounts the Tribune.) 

Forever hallowed be this glorious day, 

When Freedom, bursting her oppressive chain, 

Tramples on the oppressor. When the tyrant 

Hurled from his blood-cemented throne, by the arm 

Of the almighty people, meets the death 

He planned for thousands. Oh ! my sickening heart 

Has sunk within me, when the various woes 

Of my brave country crowded o'er my brain 

In ghastly numbers — when assembled hordes 

Dragged from their hovels by despotic power 

Rushed o'er her frontiers, plundered her fair hamlets, 

And sacked her populous towns, and drenched with blood 

The reeking fields of Flanders. — When within, 

Upon her vitals preyed the rankling tooth 

Of treason ; and oppression, giant-form, 

Trampling on freedom, left the alternative 

Of slavery, or of death. Even from that day, 

When, on the guilty Capet, I pronounced 

The doom of injured Fiance, lias faction reared 

Her hated head amongst us. Roland preached 



*o6 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Of mercy— the uxorious dotard Roland, 

The woman-governed Roland durst aspire 

To goVern France ; and Petion talked of virtue, 

And Vergniaud's eloquence, like the honeyed tongue 

Of some soft Siren, wooed us to destruction. 

We triumphed over these. On the same scaffold 

Where the last Louis poured his guilty blood, 

Fell Brissot's head, the womb of darksome treasons, 

And Orleans, villain kinsman of the Capet, 

And Hubert's atheist crew, whose maddening hand 

Hurled down the altars of the living God, 

With all the infidel's intolerance. 

The last worst traitor triumphed — triumphed long, 

Secured by matchless villany. By turns 

Defending and deserting each accomplice 

As interest prompted. In the goodly soil 

Of Freedom, the foul tree of treason struck 

Its deep-fixed roots, and dropt the dews of death 

On all who slumbered in its specious shade. 

He wove the web of treachery. He caught 

The listening crowd by his wild eloquence, 

His cool ferocity that persuaded murder, 

Even whilst it spake of mercy ! never, never 

Shall this regenerated country wear 

The despot yoke. Though myriads round assail, 

And with worse'fury urge this new crusade 

Than savages have known ; though the leagued despots 

Depopulate all Europe, so to pour 

The accumulated mass upon our coast, 

Sublime amid the storm shall France arise, 

And like the rock amid surrounding waves 

Repel the rushing ocean. — She shall wield 

The thunderbolt of vengeance — she shall blast 

The despot's pride, and liberate the world I 



THE PICCOLOMINI; 

OR, THE 

FIRST PART OF WALLENSTEIN; 

A DRAMA, IN FIVE ACTS. 

AND THE 

DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN; 

A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS. 
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF SCHILLEB. 



PREFACE OF THE TRANSLATOR. 

It was my intention to have prefixed a Life of Wallenstein to this translation; 
but I found that it must either have occupied a space wholly disproportionate to 
the nature of the publication, or have been merely a meagre catalogue of events 
narrated not more fully than they already are in the play itself. The recent 
translation, likewise, of Schiller's ' History of the Thirty Years' War' diminished 
the motives thereto. In the translation I endeavored to render my Author 
literally wherever I was not prevented by absolute differences of idiom ; but T am 
conscious, that in two or three short passages I have been guilty of dilating the 
original ; and, from anxiety to give the full meaning, have weakened the force. 
In the metre I have availed myself of no other liberties than those which Schiller 
had permitted to himself, except the occasional breaking-up of the line by the 
substitution of a trochee for an iambic ; of which liberty, fo frequent in our 
tragedies, 1 find no instance in these dramas. 

S. T. Coleridge. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 

Wallenstein, Duke of Friedland, Generalissimo of the Imperial Forces in the 

Thirty Years' War. 
Ootavio Piccolomini, Lieutenant-General. 

Max. Piccolomini, his Son, Colonel of a Regiment of Cuirassiers. 
Count Tertsky, the Commander of several regiments, and Brother-in-law of 

Wallenstein 



40« COLERIDGE 'A' POEMS. 



Illo, Field-Marshal, Wallenstein's Confidant. 

Isolani, General of the Croats. 

Butler, an Irishman, Commander of a regiment of Dragoons- 

TlEFENBAOH, ) 

?°"J} ARADAS > Generals under Wallenstein. 

KOLATTO, ) 

Neumann, Captain of Cavalry, Aid-de-camp to Tertsky. 
Von Questenberg, the War Commissioner, Imperial Envoy. 
General Wrangel, Swedish Envoy. 
Baptisia Seni, Astrologer. 

Duchess of Friedland, Wife of Wallenstein. 
Thekla, her Daughter, Princess of Friedland. 
The Countess Tertsky, Sister of the Duchess. 

A Cornet. 

Colonels and Generals (several). 

Pages and Attendants belonging to Wallenstein. 

Attendants and Hoboists belonging to Tertsky. 

Master of the Cellar to Count Tertsky. 

Valet de Chambre of Count Piccolomiiii. 



ACT I.— SCENE I. 

An old Gothic chamber in the Council-house at Pilsen, decorated 
with colors and other war insignia. 

Illo, with Butler and Isolani. 

Illo. 
Ye have come late — but ye are come ! The distance, 
Count Isolan, excuses your delay. 

Isolani. 

Add this too, that we come not empty-handed. 

At Donauwert* it was reported to us, 

A Swedish caravan was on its way, 

Transporting a rich cargo of provision, 

Almost six hundred wagons. This my Croats 

Plunged down upon and seized, this weighty prize! — 

We bring it hither 

Illo. 

Just in time to banquet 
The illustrious company assembled here. 



* A town ubout twelve Ge; i miles N.E. of Ulm. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 409 



Butler. 
'Tis all alive ! a stirring scene here ! 

Isolani. 

Ay! 

The very churches are full of soldiers. [Casts His eye around 

And in the Council-house too, I observe, 

You're settled, quite at home ! Well, well ! we soldiers 

Must shift and suit us in what way we can. 

Illo. 
We have the Colonels here of thirty regiments, 
You'll find Count Tertsky here, and Tiefenbach, 
Kolatto, Groetz, Maradas, Hinnersam, 

The Piccolomini, both son and father 

You'll meet with many an unexpected greeting 
From many an old friend and acquaintance. Only- 
Galas is wanting still, and Altringer. 

Butler. 
Expect not Galas ! 

Illo. (hesitating.) 

How so ? Do you know 

Isolant. {interrupting him.) 
Max. Piccolomini here ? — bring me to him. 
I see him yet ('tis now ten years ago, 
We were engaged with Mansfield hard by Dessau), 
I see the youth, in my mind's eye I see him, 
Leap his black war-horse from the bridge adown. 
And t'ward his father, then in extreme peril, 
Beat up against the strong tide of the Elbe. 
The down was scarce upon his chin ! I hear 
He has made good the promise of his youth, 
And the "ull hero now is finished in him, 

Illo. 
You' 1 ' see him yet ere evening. He conducts 
The Duchess Friedland hither, and the Princess 
From Carnthen. We expect them here at noon. 

Butler. 
Both wife and daughter does the Duke call hither ? 
He crowds in visitants from all sides. 

Isolani. 

Hm! 
So much the better ! I had framed my mind 



41 o COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



To hear of naught but warlike circumstance, 
, O. marches, and att&< ks, and batteries : 
And lo ! the Duke provides, that something too 
Of gentler sort, and lovely, should be present 
To feast our eyes. 

Illo. {ivho has been standing in thr attitude of meditation, to 
Butler, whom he leads a little on one side.) 
And how came you to know 
That the Count Galas joins us not? 

Butler. 

Because 
He importuned me to remain behind. 

Illo. {with warmth.) 
And you ? — You hold out firmly '? 

[Grasping his hand with affection. 
Noble Butler ! 

Butler. 
After the obligation which the Duke 
Had laid so newly on me 

Illo. 

I had forgotten 
A pleasant duty — Major-General, 
I wish you joy ! 

ISOLANI. 

What, you mean, of his regiment ? 

I hear, too, that, to make the gift still sweeter, 

The Duke has given him the very same 

In which he first saw service, and since then, 

Worked himself, step by step, thro' each preferment, 

From the ranks upwards. And verily, it gives 

A precedent of hope, a spur of action 

To the whole corps, if once in their remembrance 

An old deserving soldier makes his way. 

Butler. 
I am perplexed and doubtful, whether or no 
I dare accept this your congratulation. 
The Emperor has not yet confirmed th' appointment. 

Isolani. 
Seize it, friend ! Seize it ! The hand which in that post 
Placed you, is strong enough to keep you there, 
S:jite of the Emperor and his Ministers ! 



THE PICCOLOMINI. \\\ 



Lllo. 
Ay, if we would but so consider it ! — 
If we would all of us consider it so ! 
The Emperor gives us nothing ; from the Duke 
Comes all — whate'er we hope, whate'er we have. 

ISOLANI. {to lllo.) 

My noble brother \ did I tell you how 
a he Duke will satisfy my creditors ? 
Will be himself my banker for the future, 

Make me once more a creditable man ! 

And this is now the third time, think of that ! 
This kingly-minded man has rescued me 
From absolute ruin, and restored my honor- 

ILL). 

that his power but kept pace with his wishes ! 
Why, friend ! he'd give the whole world to his soldien. 
But at Vienna, brother ! — here's the grievance ! 

What politic schemes do they not lay to shorten 
His ario, and, where they can, to clip his pinions. 
Then these new dainty requisitions ! these, 
Which this same Questenberg brings hither ! 

Butler. 

Ay, 

These requisitions of the Emperor 

1 too have heard about them ; hut I hope 
The Duke will not draw back a single inch ! 

Illo. 
Not from his right most surely, unless first 
—From office ! 

Butler, {shocked and confnsed.) 

Know you aught then ? 
STou alarm me. 

Isolani. (at the same time with Butler, and in a hurrying voice. 
Wo should be ruined, every one of us ! 

Illo. 

No more ! 
fonder I see our worthy friend approaching 
With the Lieutenant-General, Piccoloinini. 

Butler, (shaking his head significantly.) 
\ fear we shall not go hence as we came. 



4 1 2 COLE RID GE>S POEMS. 



SCENE II. 

Enter Octavio Piccolomfni and Questenberg. 

Octavio. [still in the distance.) 
Ay, ay! more still ! still more new visitors! 
Acknowledge, friend! that hevpr was a camp, 
Which held at once so many heads of heroes. 

[Approaching nearer. 
Welcome, Count Isolani ! 

ISOLANI. 

My noble brother, 
Even now am I arrived ; it had been else my duty — 

Octavio. 
And Colonel Butler — trust me, I rejoice 
Thus renew acquaintance with a man 
Whose Worth and services I know and honor. 
See, see, my friend! 

There might we place at once before our eyes 
The sum of Avar's whole trade and mystery — 

[To Questenberg, presenting Butler and Isolani at the same 
time to him. 
These two the total sum — Strength and Dispatch. 

Questenberg. (to Octavio.) 
And lo ! betwixt them both experienced Prudence ! 

Octavio. (presenting Questenberg to Butler and Isolani.) 
The Chamberlain and War-commissioner Questenberg, 
The bearer of the Emperor's behests. 
The long-tried friend and patron of ali soldiers, 
We honor in this noble visitor. [Universal silence. 

Lllo. (moving towards Questenberg.) 
'Tis not the first time, noble Minister, 
You have shown our camp this honor. 

Questenberg. 

Once before 
I stood before these colors. 

ILLO. 

Perchance, too, you remember where that was. 
It was at Znaim* in Moravia, where 



* A town not far distant from the Mine-mountainB, on the high road from Vienna to 
Prague. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 4*3 



You did present yourself upon the part 

Of the Emperor, to supplicate our Duke 

That he would straight assume the chief command. 

QUESTENBERQ. 

To supplicate f Nay, noble General ! 

So far extended neither my commission 

{ At least to my own knowledge) nor my zeal. 

Illo. 

Well, well, then — to compel him, if you choose, 

I can remember me right well, Count Tilly 

Had suffered total rout upon the Lech. 

Bavaria lay all open to the enemy, 

Whom there was nothing to delay from pressing 

Onwards into the very heart of Austria. 

At that time you and Werdenberg appeared 

Before our General, storming him with prayers, 

And menacing the Emperor's displeasure, 

Unless he took compassion on this wretchedness. 

Isolani. (steps up to them.) 

Yes, yes, 'tis comprehensible enough, 
Wherefore with your commission of to-day 
You were not alt too willing to remember 
Your former one. 

QUESTENBERG. 

Why not, Count Isolani? 
No contradiction sure exists between them. 
It was the urgent business of that time 
To snatch Bavaria from her enemy's hand ; 
And my commission of to-day instructs me 
To free her from her good friends and protectors. 

Illo. 
A worthy office ! After with our blood 
We have wrested this Bohemia from the Saxon, 
To be swept out of it is all our thanks, 
The sole reward of all our hard won victories. 

QUESTENBERG. 

Unless that wretched land be doom'd to suffer 

Only a. change of evils, it must be 

Freed from the scourge alike of friend and foe. 



Illo. 
What ? 'Twas a favorable year ; the Boors 
Can answer fresh demands already. 

QUESTENBERG. 

Nay, 
If you discourse of herds and meadow-grounds — 

Isolani. 
The war maintains the war. Are the Boors ruined, 
The Emperor gains so many more new soldiers. 

QlJESTENBERG. 

And is the poorer by even so many subjects. 

Isolani. 
Poh ! We are all his subjects. 

QUESTENBERG. 

Yet with a difference, General ! the one fill 

With profitable industry the purse, 

The others are well skilled to empty it. 

The sword has made the Emperor poor ; the plough 

Must reinvigorate his resources. 

ISOLANI. • 

Sure ! 
Times are not yet so bad. Methinks I see 

[Examining with his eye the dress and ornaments of Questenberg, 
Good store of gold that still remains uncoined. 

QUESTENBERG- 

Thank Heaven ! that means have been found out to hide 
Some little from the fingers of the Croats. 

Illo. 
There ! The Stawata and the Martinitz, 
On whom the Emperor heaps his gifts and graces, 
To the heart-burning of all good Bohemians — 
Those minions of court f;ivor, those court harpies, 
Who fatten on the wrecks of citizens 

Driven from their house and home — who reap no harvests 
Save in the general calamity — 
Who now, with kingly pomp, insult and mock 
The desolation of their country — these, 
Let these, and such as these, support the war, 
The fatal war, which they alone enkindled J 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 4 1 5 



BUTLER. 

And those state-parasites, who have their feet 

80 constantly beneath the Emperor's table, 

Who cannot let a benefice fall, but they 

Snap at it with dog's hunger — they, forsooth, 

Would pare the soldier's bread, and cross his reckoning. 

Isolani. 
My life long will it anger me to think, 
How when I went to court seven years ago, 
To see about new horses for our regiment, 
How from one antechamber to another 
They dragged me on, and left me by the hour 
To kick my heels among a crowd of simpering, 
Feast-fattened slaves, as if I had come thither 
A mendicant suitor for the crumbs of favor 
That fall beneath their tables. And, at last, 
Whom should they send me but a Capuchin ! 
Straight I began to muster up my sins 
For absolution — but no such luck for we / 
This was the man, this Capuchin, with whom 
I was to treat concerning the army horses : 
And 1 was forced at last to quit the field, 
The business unaccomplished. Afterwards 
The Duke procured me in three days, what I 
Could not obtain in thirty at Vienna. 

QUESTEJNBERGb 

Yes, yes ! your travelling bills soon found their way to us : 
Too well I know we have still accounts to settle. 

Illo. 
War is a violent trade ; one cannot always 
Finish one's work by soft means ; every trifle 
Must not be blackened into sacrilege. 
If we should wait till you, in solemn council, 
With due. deliberation had selected 
The smallest out of four-and-twenty evils, 
I' faith we should wait long. — 

' Dash ! and through with it ! ' — That's the better watchword. 
Then after come what may come. 'Tis man's nature 
To make the best of a bad thing once past. 
A bitter and perplexed ' What shall I do ? ' 
Is worse to man than woi^t necessity. 

QlIESTENBERG. 

Ay, doubtless, it is true ; the Duke does spare us 
The troublesome task of choosing. 



4 1 6 COLE RID GE 'S POEMS. 

Butler. 

Yes, the Duke 
Cares with a father's feelings for his troops , 
But how the Emperor feels for us, we see. 

QUESTENBERQ. 

His cares and feelings all ranks share alike, 
Nor will he offer one up to another. 

Isolani. 
And therefore thrusts he us into the deserts, 
As beasts of prey, that so he may preserve 
His dear sheep fattening in his fields at home. 

Questenbergl [with a sneer.) 
Count, this comparison you make, not I. 

Butler. 
Why, were we all the court supposes us, 
'Twere dangerous, sure, to give us liberty. 

Questenberg. 
You have taken liberty — it was not given you. 
And therefore it becomes an urgent duty 
To rein it in with curbs. 

Octavio. {interposing and addressing Questeriberg.) 
My noble friend, 
This is no more than a remembrancing 
That you are now in camp, and among warriors 
The soldier's boldness constitutes his freedom. 
Could he act daringly, unless he dared 
Talk even so ? One runs into the other. 

The boldness of this worthy officer, [pointing to Butler, 

Which now has but mistaken in its mark, 
Preserved, when naught but boldness could preserve it, 
To the Emperor his capital city, Prague 
In a most formidable mutiny 

Of the whole garrison. [Military music at a distance. 

Hah ! here they come ! 

Illo. 
The sentries are saluting them : this signal 
Announces the arrival of the Duchess. 

Octavio. {to Questenberg.) 
Then my son Max. too has returned. 'Tvvas he 
Fetched and attended them from Carnthen hither. 



THE PICCOLOMTNT. 4*7 



ISOLANI. (to Illo.) 

Shall we not go in company to greet them ? 

Illo. 
Well, let us go. — Ho ! Colonel Butler, come. 

(To Octavio.) 
You'll not forget that yet ere noon we meet 
The noble Envoy at the General's palace. 

[Exeunt all but Questeriberg and Octavio 

SCENE III. 

Questenberg and Octavio. 

Questenberg. (with signs of aversion and astonishment) 
What have I not been forced to hear, Octavio ! 
What sentiments ! what fierce, uncurbed defiance ! 
And were this spirit universal — 

Octavio. 
Hm! 
You are now acquainted with three-fourths of the army. 

Questenberg. 
Where must we seek then for a second host 
To have the custody of this ? That Illo 
Thinks worse, I fear me, than he speaks. And then 
This Butler too — he cannot even conceal 
The passionate working of his ill intentions. 

Octavio. 
Quickness of temper — irritated pride ; 
'Twas nothing more. I cannot give up Butler. 
I know a spell that will soon dispossess 
The evil spirit in him. 

Questenberg. (walking up and down in evident disquiet.) 
Friend, friend ! 
O ! this is worse, far worse, than we, had suffered 
Ourselves to dream of at Vienna. There 
We saw it only with a courtier's eyes, 
Eyes dazzled by the splendor of the throne. 
We had not seen the War-chief, the Commander, 
The man all-powerful in his camp. Here, here, 
'Tis quite another thing. 

Here is no Emperor more — the Duke is Emperor. 

27 



41 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Alas, my friend ! alas, my noble friend ! 

This walk which you have ta'eii me through the camp 

Strikes my hopes prostrate. 

Octavio. 

Now you see yourself 
Of what a perilous kind the office is, 
Which you deliver to me from the Court. 
The least suspicion of the General 
Costs me my freedom and my life, and would 
But hasten his most desperate enterprise. 

QUESTENBERG. 

Where was our reason sleeping when we trusted 
This madman with the sword, and placed such powe* 
In such a hand ? I tell you, he'll refuse, 
Flatly refuse, t'obey the Imperial orders. 
Friend, he can do't, and what he can, he will. 
And then th' impunity of his defiance — 
O ! what a proclamation of our weakness ! 

Octavio. 
D'ye think, too, he has brought his wife and daughter 
Without a purpose hither ! Here in camp ! 
And at the very point of time, in which 
We're arming for the war ? That he has taken 
These, the last pledges of his loyalty, 
Away from out the Emperor's domains — : 
This is no doubtful token of the nearness 
Of some eruption ! 

QUESTENBERG. 

How shall we hold footing 
Beneath this tempest, which collects itself 
\ !id threats us from all quarters? Th' enemy 
Oi th' empire on our Borders, now already 
The master of the Danube, and still farther, 
And farther still, extending every hour ! 
In our interior, the alarum-bfills 

Of insurrection — peasantry in arms 

All orders discontented — and the army, 
Just in the moment of bur expectation 
Of aidance from it — lo ! this very army 
Seduced, run wild, lost to all discipline, 
Loosened, and rent asunder from the state 
And from their sov'reign, the blind instrument 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 4*9 



Of the most daring; of mankind, a weapon 
Of fearful power, which at his will he wields ! 

Octavio. 
Nay, nay, friend ! let us not despair too soon. 
Men's words are ever bolder than their deeds * 
And many a resolute, who now appears 
Made up to all extremes, will, on a sudden, 
Find in his breast a heart he wot not of, 
Let but a single honest man speak out 
The true name of his crime! Remember, too, 
We stand not yet so wholly unprotected. 
Counts Altringer and Galas have maintained 
Their little army faithful to its duty, 
And daily it becomes more numerous. 
Nor can he take us by surprise ; you know, 
I hold him all encompassed by my list'ners. 
Whate'er he does, is mine, even while 'tis doing- 
No step so small, but instantly I hear it ; 
Yea, his own mouth discloses it. 

QUESTEJYBERGK 

'Tis quite 
Incomprehensible, that he detects not 
The foe so near 1 

Octavio. 
Beware, you do not think 
That I by lying arts, and complaisant 
Hypocrisy, have skulked into his graces ; 
Or with the sustenance of smooth professions 
Nourish his all-confiding friendship ! No — 
Compelled alike by prudence, and that duty 
Which we all owe our country, and our sovereign, 
To hide my genuine feelings from him, yet 
Never have I duped him with base counterfeits ! 

QlJESTENBERG. 

It is the visible ordinance of heaven. 

Octavio. 
I know not what it is that so attracts 
And links him both to me and to my son. 
Comrades and friends we always were — long habit, 
Adventurous deeds performed in company, 
And all those many and various incidents 



42 o COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Which store a soldier's memory with affections 

Had bound us long and early to each other — 

Yet I can name the day when all at once 

His heart rose on me, and his confidence 

Shot out in sudden growth. It was the morning 

Before the memorable fight at Liitzner. 

Urged by an ugly dream, I sought him out, 

To press him to accept another charger. 

At distance from the tents, beneath a tree, 

I found him in a sleep. When I had waked him. 

And had related all my bodings to him, 

Long time he stared upon me, like a man 

Astounded ; thereon fell upon my neck, 

And manifested to me an emotion 

That far outstripped the worth of that small service. 

Since then his confidence has followed me 

With the same pace that mine has fled from him. 

QUESTENBERG- 

You lead your son into the secret ? 

Octavio. 

No! 

QUESTENBERG. 

What ! and not warn him either what bad hands 
His lot has placed him in ? 

Octavio. 
I must perforce 
Leave him in wardship to his innocence. 
His young and open soul — dissimulation 
Is foreign to its habits ! Ignorance 
Alone can keep alive the cheerful air, 
The unembarrassed sense and light free spirit, 
That make the Duke secure. 

Questektberg. (anxiously.) 
My honored friend ! most highly do I deem 
Of Colonel Piccolomini — yet — if — 
Reflect a little 

Octavio. 
T must venture it. 
Hush ! — There he comets. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 421 



SCENE IV. 
Max. Piccolomini, Octavio Piccolomini, Questenberg. 

Max. 
Ha ! there he is himself. Welcome my father ! 

[He embraces his father. As he turns round, he observes 
Questenberg, and draws back with a cold and reserved air. 
You are engaged, I see. I'll not disturb you. 

Octavio. 
How, Max. ? Look closer at this visitor, 
Attention, Max., an old friend merits — Reverence 
Belongs of right to the envoy of your sovereign. 

Max. {dryly.) 
Von Questenberg ! — Welcome — if you bring with you 
Aught good to our head-quarters. 

Questenberg. {seizing his hand.) 
Nay, draw not 
Your hand away, Count Piccolomini 1 
Not on mine own account alone I seized it, 
And nothing common will I say therewith. 

[taking the hands of both, 
Octavio — Max, Piccolomini ! 

saviour names, and full of happy omen ! 

Ne'er will her prosperous Genius turn from Austria, 
While two such stars, with blessed influences 
Beaming protection, shine above her hosts. 

Max. 
Heh ! — Noble minister ! You miss your part. 
You came not here to act a panegyric. 
You're sent, I know, to find fault, and to scold us — 

1 must not be beforehand with my comrades, 

Octavio. {to Max.) 
He comes from court, where people are not quite 
So well contented with the duke, as here. 

Max. 
What now have they contrived to find out in him ? 



422 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

That he alone determines for himself 

What he himself alone doth understand ? 

Well, therein he does right, and will persist in't 

Heaven never meant him for that passive thing 

That can be struck and hammered out to suit 

Another's taste and fancy. He'll not dance 

To every tune of every minister. 

It goes against his nature — he can't do it. 

He is possessed by a commanding spirit, 

And his too is the station of command. 

And well for us it is so ! There exist 

Few fit to rule themselves, but few that use 

Their intellects intelligently. — Then 

Well for the whole, if there be found a man, 

Who makes himself what nature destined him, 

The pause, the central point of thousand thousands — 

Stands fixed and stately, like a firm-built column, 

Where all may press with joy and confidence. 

Now such a man is Wallenstein ; and if 

Another better suits the court — no other 

But such a one as he can serve the army. 

QUESTENBERG. 

The army ? Doubtless ! 

Octavio. (to Questeriberg.) 

Hush ! suppress it, friend ! 
Unless so?ne end were answered by the utterance. — 
Of him there you'll make nothing. 

Max. (continuing.) 

In their distress 
They call a spirit up, and when he comes, 
Straight their flesh creeps and quivers, and they dread hi/ 
More than the ills for which they called him up. 
The uncommon, the sublime, must seem and be 
Like things of every day. — But in the field, 
Ay, there the Present Being makes itself felt. 
The personal must command, the actual eye 
Examine. If to be the chieftain asks 
All that is great in nature, let it be 
Likewise his privilege to move and act 
In all the correspondencies of greatness. 
The oracle within him, that which lives, 
lie must invoke and question — not dead books, 
tfot ordinances, not mould-rotted papers. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 423 

. 'I ■ 

OCTAVIO. 

My son ! of those old narrow ordinances 

Let us not hold too lightly. They are weights 

Of priceless, value, which oppressed mankind 

Tied to the volatile will of their oppressors. 

For always formidable was the league 

And partnership of free power with free will. 

The way of ancient ordinance, tho' it winds, 

Is yet no devious way. Straight forward goes 

The lightning's path, and straight the fearful path 

Of the cannon-ball. Direct it flies and rapid, 

Shatt'ring that it may reach, and shattering what it reache*. 

My son ! the road the human being travels, 

That, on which Blessing comes and goes, doth follow 

The river's course, the valley's playful windings, 

Curves' round the corn-field and the hill of vines, 

Honoring the holy bounds of property ! 

And thus secure, tho' late, leads to its end. 

QUESTENBERGK 

hear your father, noble youth ! hear him t 
Who is at once the hero and the man. 

Octavio. 

My son, the nursling of the camp spoke in thee! 

A war of fifteen years 

Hath been thy education and thy school. 

Peace hast thou never witnessed ! There exists 

A higher than the warrior's excellence. 

In war itself war is no ultimate purpose. 

The vast and sudden deeds of violence, 

Adventures wild, and wonders of the moment, 

These are not they, my son, that generate 

The Calm, the Blissful, and th' enduring Mighty ! 

Lo there ! the soldier, rapid architect ! 

Builds his light town of canvas, and at once 

The whole scene moves and bustles momently, 

With arms, and neighing steeds, and mirth, and quarrel I 

The motley market fills ; the roads, the streams 

Are crowded with new freights ; trade stirs and hurries/ 

But on some morrow morn, all suddenly, 

The tents drop down, the horde renews its march. 

Dreary, and solitary as a church-yard, 

The meadow and down-trodden seed-plot lie, 

And the year's harvest is gone utterly. 



4^4 COLERIDGE \S POEMS. 

Max. 
O let the Emperor make peace, my father ! 
Most gladly would I give the blood-stained laurel 
For the first violet of the leafless spring, 
Plucked in those quiet fields where I have journeyed ! 

Octavio. 
What ails thee ? What so moves thee all at once 

Max. 
Peace have I ne'er beheld ? I have beheld it. 
From thence am I come hither : O ! that sight, 
It glimmers still before me, like some landscape 
Left in the distance, — some delicious landscape I 
My road conducted me thro' countries where 
The war has not yet reached. Life, life, my father — 
My venerable father, life has charms 
Which we have ne'er experienced. We have been 
But voyaging along its barren coasts, 
Like some poor ever-roaming horde of pirates, 
That, crowded in the rank and narrow ship, 
House on the wild sea with wild usages, 
Nor know aught of the main land, but the bays 
Where safeliest they may venture a thieves' landing. 
Whate'er in the inland dales the land conceals 
Of fair and exquisite, O ! nothing, nothing, 
Do we behold of that in our rude voyage. 

Octavio. {attentive, with an appearance of uneasiness.) 
And so your journey has revealed this to you ? 

Max. 
'Twas the first leisure of my life. O tell me, 
What is the meed and purpose of the toil, 
The painful toil, which robbed me of my youth, 
Left me a heart unsouled and solitary, 
A spirit uninformed, unornamented. 
For the camp's stir and crowd and ceaseless larum, 
The neighing war-horse, the air-shattering trumpet, 
Th' unvaried, still-returning hour of duty, 
Word of command, and exercise of arms — 
There's nothing here, there's nothing in all this 
To satisfy the heart, the gasping heart ! 
Mere bustling nothingness, where the soul is not— 
This cannot be the sole felicity, 
These cannot be man's best and only pleasures I 






THE PICCOLOMINI. 425 



OCTAVIO. 
Much hast thou learnt, my son, in this short journey. 

Max. 
! day thrice lovely ! when at length the soldier 
Returns home into life ; when he becomes 
A fellow-man among his fellow-men. 
The colors are unfurled, the cavalcade 
Marshals, and now the buzz is hushed, and hark ! 
Now the soft peace-march beats, home, brothers, home! 
The caps and helmets are all garlanded 
With green boughs, the last plundering of the fields. 
The city gates fly open of themselves. 
They need ho longer the petard to tear them. 
The ramparts are all filled with men and women. 
With peaceful men and women, that send onwards 
Kisses and welcomings upon the air, 
Which they make breezy with 1 affectionate gestures. 
From all the towers rings out the merry peal, 
The joyous vespers of a bloody day. 
O happy man, O fortunate ! for whom 
The well-known door, the faithful arms are open, 
The faithful tender anus with mute embracing. 

Questenberg. {apparently much affected.) 

! that you should speak 

Of such a distant, distant time, and not; 
Of the to-morrow, not of this to-day. 

Max. {turning round to him quick and vehement.) 
Where lies the fault but. on you in Vienna? 

1 will deal openly with you, Questenberg. 
Just now, as first 1 saw you standing here, 
(I'll own it to you freely) indignation 
Crowded and pressed my inmost soul together. 
'Tis ye that hinder peace, ye ! — and the warrior, 
It is the warrior that must force it from you. 

Ye fret the General's life out, blacken him, 

Hold him up as a rebel, and heaven knows 

What else still worse, because he spares the Saxons, 

And tries to awaken confidence in the enemy ; 

Which yet's the only way to peace ; for if 

War intermits not during war, how then 

And whence can peace come ? — Your own plagues fall on you I 

Even as I love what's virtuous, hate 1 you. 

And here make I this vow, here pledge myself; 



426 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS 



My blood shall spurt out for this Wallenstein, 
And my heart drain off, drop by drop, ere ye 
Shall revel and dance jubilee o'er his ruin. [Exit. 

SCENE V. 

QUESTENBERG, OCTAVIO PlCCOLOMINI. 
QUESTENBERG. 

Alas, alas ! and stands it so ? 

[then in pressing and impatient tone. 
What, friend ! and do we let him go away 
In this delusion — let him go away ? 
Not call him back immediately, not open 
His eyes upon the spot ? 

Octavio. {recovering himself out of a deep study.) 
He has now opened mine, 
And I see more than pleases me. 

QUESTENBERG. 

What is it ? 

Octavio. 
Curse on this journey ! 

QUESTENBERG. 

But why so ? What is it ? 

Octavio. 
Come, come along, friend ! I must follow up 
The ominous track immediately. Mine eyes 
Are opened now, and I must use them. Come ! 

[Draws Questenberg on With him* 

QUESTENBERG. 

What now ? Where go you then ? 

Octavio. 

To herself. 

Questenberg. 
To 

Octavio. (interrupting him, and correcting himself.) 
To the Duke. Come, let us go. — 'Tis done, 'tis done ! 
I see the net that is thrown over him. 
I he returns not to me as he went. 



THE PTCCOLOMim. 427 



QUESTENBERG. 

Nay, but explain yourself. 

Octavio. 

And that I should not 
Foresee it, not prevent this journey. Wherefore 
Did I keep it from him ? — You were in the right. 
1 should have warned him ! Now it is too late. 

QUESTENBERG. 

But whaVs too late ! Bethink yourself, my friend, 
That you are talking absolute riddles to me. 

Octavio. {more collected.) 
Come! — to the Duke's. 'Tis close upon the hour 
Which he appointed you for. audience. Come ! 
A curse, a threefold curse, upon this journey ! 

[He leads Questeriberg off. 

SCENE VI. 

Changes to a spacious chamber in the house of the Duke of Fried- 
land. — Servants employed in putting the tables and chairs 
in order. — During this enters Seni, like an old Italian doctoi 
in black, and clothed, somewhat fantastically. — He carries 
a white staff, with which he marks out the quarters of thu 
heaoen. 

1st Servant. 
Come — to it lads, to it ! Make an end of it. I hear the 
sentry call out, ' Stand to your arms ! ' They will be there in a 
minute. 

2d Servant. 
Why were we not told before that the audience would be held 
here ? Nothing prepared — no orders — no instructions — 

3d Servant. 
Ay, and why was the balcony-chamber countermanded ; that 
with the great worked carpet ? — there one can look about one. 

1st servant. 
Nay, that you must ask the mathematician there. He says it 
is an unlucky chamber. 

2d Servant. 
Poh ! stuff and nonsense ! That's what I call a hum. A 



42$ C6LERIDGKS POEMS. 



chamber is a chamber; what much can the place signify in the 
affair? 

S"KNi. {with gravity.) 
My son, there's nothing insignificant, 
Nothing ! But yet in every earthly thing 
First and most principal is place and time. 

1st Servant, {to the Second.) 
Say nothing to him, Nat. The Duke must let him have his 
own will. 

Seni. {counts the chairs, half in a loud, half in a low voice, till 

he comes to eleven, which he repeats.) 
Eleven ! an evil number ! Set twelve chairs. 
Twelve ! twelve signs hath the zodiac : five and seven, 
The holy numbers, include themselves in twelve. 

2d Servant. 

And what may yon have to object against eleven ? I should 
like to know that, now. 

Seni. 
Eleven is — transgression : eleven oversteps 
The ten commandments. 

2d servant. 
That's good ! and why do you call five a holy number ? 

Seni. 
Five is the soul of man : for even as man 
Is mingled up of good and evil, so 
The five is the first number that's made up 
Of even and odd. 

2d Servant. 
The foolish old coxcomb ! 

1st Servant, 
Ay ! let him alone though. I like to hear him ; there is mon 
in his words than can be seen at first sight. 

3d Servant. 
Off ! They come. 

2d Servant. 
There ! Out at the side door. 

{.They hurry off, Seni follows slowly. A page brings the 
staff of command on a red cushion, and places it on tht 
table near the Duke's chair.' They are announced from 
without, and the wings of the door fly open. 



TITS PICCOLOMWt. 4*9 



SCENE VII. 

Wallenstein, Duchess. 
Wallenstein. 

Tou went then through Vienna, were presented 
To the Queen of ilungary ? 

Duchess. 

Yes $ and to the Empress too ; 
And by both Majesties were we admitted 
To kiss the hand. 

Wallenstein. 
And how was it received, 
That I had sent for wife and daughter hither 
To the camp, in winter time V 

. Duchess. 

I did even that 
Which you commissioned me to do. I told them, 
You had determined on our daughter's marriage, 
And wished, ere yet you went into the field, 
To show th' elected husband his betrothed. 

Wallenstein. 
And did they guess the choice which I had made? 

Duchess. 

They only hoped and wished it may have fallen 
Upon no foreign nor yet Lutheran noble. 

Wallenstein. 
And you — what do you wish, Elizabeth ? 

Duchess. 
?our will, you know, was always mine. 

Wallenstein. {after a pause.) 

Well, then ! 
And in all else, of what kind and complexion 
Was your reception at the court ? 

[The Duchess casts her eyes on the ground and remains 
silent. 
Hide nothing from me. How were you received ? 



43° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



i Duchess. 

! my dear Lord, all is not what it was. 
A canker worm, my lord, a canker worm 
Has stolen into the bud. 

Wallenstein. 
Ay ! is it so ? 
What, they were lax ? they failed of th' old respect? 

Duchess. 
Not of respect. No honors were omitted, 
No outward courtesy ; but in the place 
Of condescending, confidential kindness, 
Familiar and endearing, there were given me 
Only these honors and that solemn courtesy. 
Ah ! and the tenderness which was put on, 
It was the guise of pity, not of favor. 
No! Albrecht's wife, Duke Albrecht's princely wife, 
Count Harrach's noble daughter, should not so — 
Not wholly so should she have been received. 

Wallenstein. 
Yes, yes ; they have ta'en offence. My latest conduct, 
They railed at it, no doubt. 

Duchess. 

O that they had ! 

1 have been long accustomed to defend you, 
To lieal and pacify distempered spirits. 
No ; no one railed at you. They wrapped them up, 
Heaven ! in such oppressive, solemn silence ! — 
Here is no every-day misunderstanding, 
No transient pique, no cloud that passes over ; 
Something most luckless, most unhealable, 
Has taken place. The Queen of Hungary 
Used formerly to call me her dear aunt, 
And ever at departure to embrace me — 

Wallenstein. 

Now she omitted it ? 

Duchess, {wiping away her tears, after a pause.) 
She did embrace me, 
But then firs' when I had already taken 
My formal leave, and when the door already 
Had closed upon me, then did she come out 
In haste, as she had suddenly bethought herself, 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 43 1 



And pressed me to her bosom, more with anguish 
Than with tenderness. 

Wallenstein. (seizes he?- hand soothingly.) 

Nay now, collect yourself. 
And what of Eggenberg and Lichtenstein, 
And of our other friends there ? 

Duchess, {shaking her head.) 
I saw none. 

Wallenstein. 

Th' Ambassador from Spain, who once was wont 
To plead so warmly for me ? — 

Duchess. 

Silent, silent ! 

Wallenstein. 
These suns then are eclipsed for us. Henceforward 
Must we roll on, our own fire, our own light. 

Duchess. 
And were it — were it, my dear Lord, in that 
Which moved about the Court in buzz and whisper, 
But in the country let itself be heard 
Aloud — in that which Father Lamormain 
In sundry hints and 

Wallenstein. {eagerly.) 

Lamormain ! what said he ? ' 

Duchess. 
That you're accused of having daringly 
O'erstepped tbe power entrusted to you, charged 
With traitorous contempt of th' Emperor 
And his supreme behests. The proud Bavarian, 
He and the Spaniards stand up your accusers. — 
That there's a storm collecting over you, 
Of far more fearful menace than that former one 
Which whirled you headlong down at Regensburg. 

And people talk, said he, oi Ah ! 

[stifling extreme emotion. 

Wallenstein. 

Proceed ! 



- 



432 COLERIDGE'S POEMS, 

r- . —I 

Duchess. 
I cannot utter it ! 

Wallenstein. 
Proceed ! 

Duchess. 

They talk 

Wallenstein. 

Well ! 

Duchess. 
Of a second [Catches her voice and hcsiUC* 

Wallenstein. 
Second — 

Duchess. 

More dis^tttwerui 
Dismission. 

Wallenstein. 
Talk they ? 
[Strides across the chamber in vehement agitation* 
O ! they force, they thrust me 
With violence, against my own will, onward ! 

Duchess, (presses near to him. in entreaty.) 
O ! if there yet be time, my husband ! Ir 
By giving way and by submission, this 
Can be averted— my dear Lord, give way ! 
Win down your proud heart to it ! TeiL that heart, 
It is your sovereign lord, your Emperor, 
Before whom you retreat. O let no longer 
Low trickling malice blacken your good meaning 
With abhorred venomous glosses. Stand you up, 
Shielded and helmed and weaponed with the truth, 
And drive before you into uttermost shame 
These slanderous liars ! Few fi/iji friends have we. 
You know it ! — The swift gro« th of our good fortune 
It hath but set us up, a mark for hatred. 
What are we, if the sovereign's grace and favor 
Stand not before us ! 



THE P1CC0L0MTNI. 433 



SCENE VIII. 

Enter the Countess Tertsky, leading in her hand the Princess 
Thekla, richly adorned with brilliants. 

Countess, Thekla, Wallenstein, Duchess. 

Countess. 
Bow. sister ? What already upon business, 

[observing the countenance of the Duchess. 
And business of no pleasing kind I see, 
Ere he has gladdened at his child. The first 
Moment belongs to joy, Here, Friedland ! father ! 
This is my daughter. 

[The k la approaches with a shy and timid air, and ben*, 
herself as about to kiss his hand, he receives her in his 
arms, and remains standing for some time lost in the 
feeling of her presence. 

Wallenstein. 

Yes ; pure and lovely hath hope risen on me ; 
1 take her as the pledge of greater fortune. 

Duchess. 
'Twas but a little child when you departed 
To raise up that great army for the Emperor: 
And after at the close of the campaign, 
When you returned home out of Pomerania, 
Your daughter was already in the convent, ...7 ;]■• 

Wherein she has remained till now. 

Wallenstein. 

The while 
We in the field here gave our cares and toils 
To make her great, and fight her a free way 
To the loftiest of earthly good ; lo ! mother Nature 
Within the peaceful silent convent walls 
Has done her part, and out of her free grace 
Hath she bestowed on the beloved child 
The godlike ; and now leads her thus adorned 
To meet her splendid fortune, and my hope. 

Duchess, (to Thekla.) 
Thou wouldst not have recognized thy father, 
Wouldst thou, my child? She counted scarce eight years, 
When last she saw your face. 

• 28 



1 y ii y i .jpgj i BMji ii r 



434 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Thekla. 

O yes, yes, mother \ 
At the first glance ! — my father is not altered. 
The form, that stands before me, falsifies 
No feature of the image that hath lived 
So long with me I 

Wallenstein. 
The voice of my child ! 

[then after a pause, 
I was indignant at my destiny 
That it denied me a man r child to be 
Heir of my name and of my prosperous fortune, 
And re-illume my soon extinguished being 
In a proud line of princes. 
I wronged my destiny. Here upon this head, 
So lovely in its maiden bloom, will I 
Let fall the garland of a life of war ; 
Nor deem it lost, if only I can wreathe it, 
Transmitted to a regal ornament, 
Around these beauteous brows. 

{He clasps her in his arms as Picaolomini enters. 

scenp: ix. 

Enter Max. Piccolomini, and some time after Count TertsKYi 
the others remaining as before. 

Countess. 
There comes the Palladia who protected us. 

Wallenstein. 
Max ! Welcome, ever welcome ! Always wert thou 
The morning star of my best joys ! 






My General— 
Wallenstein. 
Till now it was the Emperor who rewarded thee, 
1 but the instrument. This day thou hast bound 
The father to thee, Max. ! the fortunate father, 
And this debt, Friedland's sell must pay. 

Max. 

My prince ! 
You made no common hurry to transfer it. 
I come with shame. Yea, not without a pang ! 



r 



THE PlCCOLOMim. 435 



For scarce have I arrived here, scarce delivered 
The mother and the daughter to your arms, 
Hut there is brought to me from your equerry 
A splendid richly plated hunting dress, 

So to remunerate me for my trouble 

Yes, yes, remunerate me ! Since a trouble 
li must be, a mere office, not a favor 
Which I leapt forward to receive, and which 
1 came already with full heart to thank you for. 
jNo! 'twas not so intended, that my business 
Should be my highest, best good fortune ! 

[Tertsky enters and delivers letters to the Duke which he 
breaks open hurryingly. 

Countess, {to Max.) 
Remunerate your trouble ! For his joy 
lie makes you recompense. 'Tis not unfitting 
For you. Count Piccolomini, to feel 
So tenderly — niy brother it beseems 
To show himself forever great and princely. 

Thekla. 
Then I too must have scruples of his love : 
For his munificent hands did ornament me 
Ere yet the father's heart had spoken to me. 

Max. 
Yes : 'tis his nature ever to be giving, 
And making happy 

I He grasps the hand of the Duchess with still increasing 
warmth. 

How my heart pours out- 
Its all of thanks to him : I how I seem 
To utter all things in the dear name Friedland. 
While I shall live, so long will I remain 
The captive of this name r in it shall bloom 
My every fortune, every lovely hope. 
Inextricably as in some magic ring 
In this name hath my destiny charm-bound me ! 

Countess (ivho during this time has been anxiously watching the 

Duke, and remarks that he is lost in thought over the letters.) 
My brother wishes us to leave him. Come. 

W allenstein. ( turns h imself round quickly, collects himself, and 

speaks with cheerfulness to the Duchess.) 
Once more I bid thee welcome to the camp. 



43^ COLERIDGE *S POEMS. 



Thou art the hostess of this court. You, Max., 
Will now again administer your old office, 
While we perform the sovereign's business here. 

[Max. Piccolomini offers the Duchess his arm, the Countess 
accompanies the Princess. 

Tertsky. (calling after him.) 
Max., we depend on seeing you at the meeting. 

SCENE X. 

Wallenstein, Count Tertskt. 

Wallenstein. (in deep thought to himself.) 
£I*e hath seen all things as they are — It is so, 
And squares completely with my other notices. 
They have determined finally in Vienna, 
Have given me my successor already ; 
it is the king of Hungary, Ferdinand, 
The Emperor's delicate son ! he's now their savior, 
He's the new star that's rising now ! Of us 
They think themselves already fairly rid, 
And as we were deceased, the heir already 
Is entering on possession —Therefore — despatch ! 

[ As he tarns round he observes Tertsky, and gives him a letter. 
Count Altringer will have himself excused, 
And Galas too — 1 like not this ! 

Tertsky. 
And if 
Thou loiterest longer, all will fall away, 
One following the other. 

Wallenstein. 
Altringer 
Is master of the Tyrole passes. I must forthwith 
Send some one to him, that he let not in 
The Spaniards on me from the Milanese. 

Well, and the old Sesin, that ancient trader 

In contraband negotiations, he 

Has shown himself again of late. What brings he 

From the Count Thur ? 

Tertsky. 
The Count communicates, 
He has found out the Swedish chancellor 



THE PICCOLOMIML 43? 



At Ilalberstadt, where the convention's held, 

Who says, you've tired him out, and that he'll have 

No further dealings with you. 

Wallexstein. 

And why so ? 

Tertsky. 
He says you are never in earnest in your speeches; 
That you decoy the Swedes — to make fools of them, 
Will league yourself with Saxony against them, 
And at last make yourself a riddance of them 
With a paltry sum of money. 

Wallenstein. 

So then, doubtless, 
Yes, doubtless, this same modest Swede expects 
That 1 shall yield him some -fair German tract 
For his prey and booty, that ourselves at last 
On our own soil and native territory, 
May be no longer our own lords and masters ! 
An excellent scheme ! — No, no ! They must be off, 
Off! off! away ! — we want ne such neighbors. 

Tertsky. 
Nay, yield them up that dot, that speck of land — 
It goes not from your portion. If you win 
The game, what matters it to you who pays it ? 

Wallenstein. 
Off with them, off ! Thou understand'st not this. 
Never shall it be said of me, I parcelled 
My native land away, dismembered Germany, 
Betrayed it to a foreigner, in order 
To come with stealthy tread, and filch away 
My own share of the plunder. — Never ! never ! 
No foreign power shall strike root in the empire, 
And least of all these Goths ! these hunger-wolves! 
Who send such envious, hot, and greedy glances 
T'wards the rich blessings of our German lands 1 
I'll have their aid to cast and draw my nets, 
But not a single fish of all the draught 
Shall they come in for. 

Tertsky. 
You will deal, however, 
More fairly with the Saxons ? They lose patience 



43^ COLERIDGE % S POEMS. 



While yon shift ground .and make so many curves. 
Bay, to what purpose all these masks ? Your friends 
Ave plunged in doubts, baffled, and led astray in you. 
There's Oxenstein, there's Arnheim — neither knows 
What he should think of your procrastinations. 
And in the end I prove the liar ; all 
Pass through me. I have not even your handwriting. 

Wallenstein. 
I never give my handwriting ; thou know'st it. 

Tertsky. 
But how can it be known that you're in earnest 
If the act follows not upon the word? 
You must yourself acknowledge, that in all 
Your intercourses hitherto with th' enemy, 
You might have done with safety all you have done, 
Had you meant nothing further than to gull him 
1 or th' Emperor's service. 

Wallenstein. {After a pause, during which he looks narrowly 
on Tertsky.) 

And from whence dost thou know 

That I'm not gulling him for the Emperor's service ? 

Whence knowest thou that I'm not gulling all of you ? 

Dost thou know me so well ? When made I thee 

Th' intendant of my secret purposes ? 

I am not conscious that I ever opened 

My inmost thoughts to thee. Th' Emperor, it is true, 

Hath dealt with me amiss ; and if I would, 

I could repay him with usurious interest 

For th' evil he hath done me. It delights me 

To know my power ; but whether I shall use it, 

Of that. I should have thought that thou couldst speak 

No wiselier than thy fellows. 

Tertsky. 
So hast thou always played thy game with us. [Enter Ilia 

SCENE XL 

Illo, Wallenstein, Tertsky. 

Wallenstein. 
IIow stand affairs without ? Are they prepared ? 



THE PICCOLO MINI. 439 



ILLO. 
You'll find them in the very mood you wish. 
They know about the Emperor's requisitions, 
And are tumultuous. 

Wallensteln. 
How hath Isolan 
Declared himself? 

Illo. 
He's yours both soul and body. 
Since you built up again his Faro-bank. 

Wallenstein. 
And which way doth Kolatto bend ? Hast thou 
Made sure of Tiefenbach and Deodate ? 

Illo. 
What Piccolomini does, that they do too. 

WALLENSTEIN". 

You mean, then, I may venture somewhat with them? 

Illo. 
— If you are assured of the Piccolomini. 

Wallenstein. 
Not more assured of mine own self. 

Tertsky. 

And yet 
I would you trusted not so much to Octavio, 
The fox ! 

Wallenstein. 
Thou teachest me to know my man ? 
Sixteen campaigns I have made with that old warrior. 
Besides, I have his horoscope, 
We both are born beneath like stars — in short 

[with an air of mystery, 
To this belongs its own particular aspect. 
If therefore thou canst warrant me the rest — — 

Illo. 
There is among them all but this one voice 
You must not lay down the command. I hear 
They mean to send a deputation to you. 



44° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 
If I'm in aught to bind myself to them, 
They too must bind themselves to me. 

Illo. 

Of course. 

Wallenstein. 
Their words of honor they must give, their oaths, 
Give them in writing to me, promising 
Devotion to my service unconditional. 

Illo. 
Why not? 

Tertsky. 
Devotion unconditional % 
The exception of their duties towards Austria 
They'll always place among the premises. 
With this reserve 

Wallenstein. {shaking his head.) 
All unconditional ! 
No premises, no reserves. 

Illo. 
A thought has struck me 
Does not Tertsky give us a set banquet 
This evening ? 

Tertsky. 

Yes; and all the Generals 
Have been invited. 

Illo. (to Wallenstein.) 
Say, will you here fully 
Commission me to use my own discretion ? 
I'll gain for you the Generals' words of honor, 
Even as you wish. 

Wallenstein. 
Gain me their signatures ! 
Bow you come by them, that is your concern. 

Illo- 
And if I bring it to you, black on white, 
That all the leaders who are present here 
Gives themselves up to you, without condition ; 
&ay, will you then — then will you show yourself 



1 



THE riCCOLOMINl. 441 



In earnest, and with some decisive action 
Make trial of your Luck ? 

Wallenstein. 
The signatures ! 
Gain me the signatures. 

Illo. 
Seize, seize the hour 
Ere it slips from you. Seldom comes the moment 
In life, which is indeed sublime and weighty. 
To make a great decision possible, 
O ! many things, all transient and all rapid, 
Must meet at once : and, haply, they thus met 
May, by that confluence, be enforced to pause 
Time long enough for wisdom, though too short, 
Far, far too short a time for doubt and scruple ! 
This is that moment. See, our army chieftains, 
Our best, our noblest, are assembled round you, 
Their kinglike leader ! On your nod they wait. 
The single threads, which here your prosperous fortune 
Hath woven together in one potent web 
Instinct with destiny, O ! let them not 
Unravel of themselves. If you permit 
These chiefs to separate, so unanimous 
Bring you them not a second time together. 
'Tis the high tide that heaves the stranded ship, 
And every individual's spirit waxes 
In the great stream of multitude. Behold, 
They are still here, here still ! But soon the war 
Burst them once more asunder, and in small 
Particular anxieties and interests 
Scatters their spirit, and the sympathy 
Of each man with the whole. Fie, who to-day 
Forgets himself, forced onward with the stream, 
Will become sober, seeing but himself, 
Peel only his own weakness, and with speed 
Will face about, and march on in the old 
High road of duty, the old broad-trodden road, 
And seek but to make shelter in good plight. 

Wallenstein. 
The time is not ye"t come. 

Tertsky. 
So you say alway». 
But when will it be time ? 



442 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 

When I shall say it. 

Illo. 
You'll wait upon the stars, and on their hours, 
Till the earthly hour escapes you. O ! believe me, 
In your own bosom are your destiny's stars. 
Confidence in yourself, prompt resolution, 
This is your Venus ! and the sole malignant, 
The only one that harmeth you, is Doubt. 

Wallenstein. 
Thou speakest as thou understand'st. How oft 
And many a time I've told thee, Jupiter, 
That lustrous god, was setting at thy birth. 
Thy visual power subdues no mysteries ; 
Mole-eyed, thou mayst but burrow in the earth, 
Blind as that subterrestrial, who, with wan, 
Lead-colored shine, lighted thee into life. 
The common, the terrestrial, thou mayst see, 
With serviceable cunning knit together, 
The nearest with the nearest ; and therein 
I trust thee and believe thee ! but whatever 
Pull of mysterious import Nature weaves, 
And fashions in the depths — the spirit's ladder, 
That from this gross and visible world of dust 
Even to the starry world, with thousand rounds, 
Builds itself up ; on which the unseen powers 
Move up and down on heavenly ministries — 
The circles in the circles, that approach 
The central sun with ever-narrowing orbit — 
These see the glance alone, the unsealed 'eye, 
Of Jupiter's glad children born in lustre. 

[He walks across the chamber, then returns, and standing 
still, proceeds. 
The heavenly constellations make not merely 
The day and night, summer and spring ; not merely 
Signify to the husbandman the seasons 
Of sowing and of harvest. Human action, 
That is the seed too of contingencies, 
Strewed on the dark land of futurity 
In hopes to reconcile the powers of fate. 
Whence it behoves us to seek out the seed time, 
To watch the stars, select their proper hours, 
And trace with searching eye the heavenly houses, 
Whether the enemy of growth and thriving, 






THE riCCOLOMINL 443 



Hide himself not, malignant, in his corner. 
Therefore permit me my own time. Meanwhile 
Do you your part. As yet I cannot say 
What /shall do— only, give way I will not. 
Depose me too they shall not. On these points 
?ou may rely. 

Page, {entering-) 
My Lords the Generals. 

Wallenstein. 
Let them come in. 



SCENE XII. 

Wallenstein, Tertsky, Illo.—To them enter Questenberg, Octavio, 
and Max. Piccolomini, Butler, Isolani, Maradas, and three 
other Generals. Wallenstein motions Questenberg, who, in 
consequence, takes the chair direcMv opposite to him ; the others 
follow, arranging themselves according to their rank. There 
reigns a momentary silence. 

Wallenstein. 
I have understood, 'tis true, the sum and import 
Of your instructions, Questenberg, have weighed them, 
And formed my final, absolute resolve ; 
Yet it seems fitting, that the Generals 
Should hear the will of th' Emperor from your mouth. 
May't please you then to open your commission 
Before these noble Chieftains. 

Questenberg, 

I am ready 
To obey you ; but will first entreat your Highness, 
And all these noble Chieftains, to consider, 
Th' Imperial dignity and sov'reign right 
Speaks from my mouth, and not my own presumption. 

Wallenstein . 
We excuse all preface. 

Questenberg. 
When his Majesty 
The Emperor to his courageous armies 



444 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. ' 

Presented in the person of Duke Friedland 

A most experienced and renowned commander, 

He did it in glad hope and confidence, 

To give thereby to the fortune of war 

A rapid and auspicious change. The onset 

Was favorable to his royal wishes. 

Bohemia was delivered from the Saxons, 

The Swede's career of conquest checked ! These lands 

Began to draw breath freely, as Duke Friedland 

From all the streams of Germany forced hither 

The scattered armies of the enemy, 

Hither invoked, as round one magic circle, 

The Rhinegrave, Bernhard, Banner, Oxenstirn, 

Yea, and that never-conquered king himself; 

Here finally, before the eye of Niirnberg, 

The fearful game of battle to decide. 

Wallenstein. 
May't please you, to the point. 

QUESTEXBERG. 

In Niirnberg's camp the Swedish monarch left 

His fame — in Liitzen's plains his life. But who 

Stood not astounded, when victorious Friedland 

After this day of triumph, this proud day, 

Marched towards Bohemia with the speed of flight, 

And vanished from the theatre of war ; 

While the young Weimar hero forced his way 

Into Franconia, to the Danube, like 

Some delving winter stream, which, where it rushes, 

Makes its own channel ; with such sudden speed 

He marched, and now at once 'fore Regenspurg 

Stood to th' affright of all good Catholic Christians. 

Then did Bavaria's well-deserving Prince 

Entreat swift aidance in his extreme need ; 

The Emperor sends seven horsemen to Duke Friedland* 

Seven horsemen couriers sends he with th' entreaty : 

He superadds his own, and supplicates, 

Where as the sovereign lord lie can command. 

In vain his supplication ! At this moment 

The Duke hears only his old hate and grudge, 

Barters the general good to gratify 

Private revenge — and so falls Regenspurg. 

Wallenstein. 
Max., to what period of the war alludes he? 
My recollection fails me here. 






THE P1CC0L0M1NL . 445 



MAX. 
He means 
When we were in Silesia. 

Walllenstein. 
Ay ! Is it so ? 
But what had we to do there ? 

Max. 

To beat out 
The Swedes and Saxons from the province. 

Wallenstein. 



True. 

In that description which the minister gave 

I seemed to have forgotten the whole war. 

Well, but proceed a little. [To Questenberg. 

Questenberg. 
Yes ! at length 
Beside the river Oder did the Duke 
Assert his ancient fame. Upon the fields 
Of Steinau did the Swedes lay down their arms, 
Subdued without a blow. And here, with others, 
The righteousness of Heaven to his avenger 
Delivered that long practised stirrer-up 
Of insurrection, that curse-laden torch 
And kindler of this war, Matthias Thur. 
But he had fallen into magnanimous hands! 
Instead of punishment he found reward, 
And with rich presents did the Duke dismiss 
The arch-foe of his Emperor. 

Wallenstein. (laughs.") 
I know, 
I know you had already in Vienna, 
Your windows and balconies all forestalled 
To see him on the executioner's cart. 
I might have lost the battle, lost it too 
With infamy, and still retained your graces — 
But, to have cheated them of a spectacle, 
Oh ! that the good folks of Vienna never, 
No, never can forgive me. 

QlJESTENBERG. 

So Silesia 
Was freed, and all things loudly called the Duke 
Into Bavaria, now pressed hard on all sides. 



446 • COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And he did put his troops in motion ; slowly, 

Quite at his ease, and by the longest road 

He traverses Bohemia ; but ere ever 

He hath once seen the enemy, faces round, 

Breaks up the march, and takes to winter quarters. 

Wallenstein. 
The troops were pitiably destitute 
Of every necessary, every comfort. 
The winter came. What thinks his Majesty 
His troops are made of ? A'n't we men ? subjected 
Like other men to wet, and cold, and all 
The circumstances of necessity ? 

miserable lot of the poor soldier ! 
Wherever he comes in, all flee before him, 
And when he goes away the general curse 
Follows him on his rout. All must be seized, 
Nothing is given him. And compelled to seize 
From every man, he's every man's abhorrence. 
Behold, here stand my Generals. Karaffa 1 
Count Deodate ! Butler ! Tell this man 
How long the soldier's pay is in arrears. 

Butler. 
Already a full year. 

Wallenstein. 
And 'tis the hire 
That constitutes the hireling's name and duties, 
The soldier's pay is the soldier's covenant.* 

QUESTENBERG. 

Ah ! this is a far other tone from that 

In which the Duke spoke eight, nine years ago. 

Wallenstein. 
Yes ! 'tis my fault, I know it : I myself 
Have spoilt the Emperor by indulging him. 
Nine years ago, during the Danish war, 

1 raised him up a force, a mighty force, 
Forty or fifty thousand men, that cost him 



* The original is not translatable into English : 

Und sein sold at 

Mus dem soldatem warden, darnach heisst er. 
It might perhaps have been thu6 rendered : 

1 And that for which he sold his services, 
The soldier must receive.' 
But a false or doubtful etymology is no more than a dull pun. 






THE PICCOLOMINI. 447 



Of his own purse no doit. Th rough Saxony 

The fury goddess of the war marched on, 

E'en to the surf-rocks of the Baltic, bearing 

The terrors of his name. That was a time ! 

In the whole Imperial realm no name Ike mine 

Honored with festival and celebration— 

And Albrecht Wallenstein, it was the title 

Of the third jewel in his crown ! 

But at the Diet, when the Princes met 

At Regenspurg, there, there the whole broke out, 

There 'twas laid open, there it was made known, 

Out of what money-bag I had paid the host. 

And what was now my thanks, what had I now, 

That I, a faithful servant of the Sovereign, 

Had loaded on myself the people's curses, 

And let the Princes of the empire pay 

The expenses of this war, that aggrandizes 

The Emperor alone — What thanks had I ! 

What 'i I was offered up to their complaints, 

Dismissed, degraded ! 

QUESTENBERG. 

But your Highness knows 
What little freedom he possessed of action 
In that disastrous Diet. 

Wallenstein. 
Death and hell ! 
J had that which could have procured him freedom. 
No ! Since 'twas proved so inauspicious to me 
To serve the Emperor at the empire's cost, 
I have been taught far other trains of thinking 
Of th' empire, and the Diet of the empire. 
From th' Emperor, doubtless, 1 received this staff, 
But now I hold it as the empire's General — 
For the common weal, the universal interest, 
And no more for that one man's aggrandizement \ 
But to the point. What is it that's desired ot me/ 

QUESTENBERG* 

First, His Imperial Majesty hath willed, 
That without pretexts of delay the army 
Evacuate Bohemia. 

Wallenstein. 
In this season? 
And to what quarter, wills the Emperoi 
That we direct our course ? 



448 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



QUESTENBERG. 

To the enemy. 
ITis Majesty resolves, that Regenspurg 
Be purified from the enemy ere Easter, 
That Luth'ranism may be no longer preached 
In that cathedral, nor heretical 
Defilement desecrate the celebration 
Of that pure festival. 

Wallenstein. 
My Generals, 
Can this be realized ? 

Illo. 
'Tis not possible. 

Butler. 
It can't be realized. 

QUESTENBERG. 

The Emperor 
Hath already commanded Colonel Suys 
To advance toward Bavaria. 

Wallenstein. • 

What did Suys? 

QUESTENBERG. 

That which his duty prompted. Pie advanced I 

Wallenstein. 
What? he advanced! And I, his General, 
Had given him orders, peremptory orders, 
Not to desert his station ! Stands it thus 
With my authority ? Is this th' obedience 
Due to my office, which being thrown aside 
No war can be conducted ? Chieftains, speak! 
You be the judges, Generals ! What deserves 
That officer, who, of his oath neglectful, 
Is guilty of contempt of orders? 

Illo. 

Death. 

Wallenstein. (raising his voice, as all but Illo had remained 

silent, and seemingly scrupulous.) 
Count Piccolomini, what has he deserved ? 



THE PICCOLOMINL 449 



Max. (after a long pause.) 
According to the letter of the law, 
Death. 

ISOLAXI. 

Death. 

Butler. 
Death, by the laws of war. 
[Questeriberg rises from his seat, Wallenstein follows, all the 
rest rise. 

Wallexsteix. 
To this the law condemns him, and not I. 
And if I show him favor, 'twill arise 
From the rev'rence that I owe my. Emperor. 

QUESTEXBERGK 

If so, I can say nothing further — here! 

Wallexsteix. 
I accepted the command but on conditions ! 
And this the first, that to the diminution 
Of my authority, no human being, 
Not even the Emperor's self, should be entitled 
To do aught, or to say aught, with the army. 
If I stand warranter of the event, 
Placing my honor and my head in pledge, 
Needs must I have full mastery in all 
The means thereto. What rendered this Qiistavus 
Resistless, and unconquered upon earth ? 
This : that he was the monarch in his army ; 
A monarch, one who is indeed a monarch, 
Was never yet subdued but by his equal. 
But to the point ! The best is yet to come. 
Attend now, generals ! 

QUESTEX"BERG. 

The Prince Cardinal 
Begins his route at the approach of spring 
From the Milanese ; and leads a Spanish army 
Thro 1 Germany into the Netherlands. 
That he may inarch secure and unimpeded, 
'Tis th ' Emperor's will, you grant him a detachment 
Of eight horse-regiments from the army here. 

Wallexsteix. 
Yes, yesl I understand ! — Eight regiments 1 Well, 

29 



Right well concerted, father Lamormain ! 

Eight thousand horse ! Yes, yes ! "Pis as it should be ! 

1 see it coming. 

QUESTENBERG. 

There is nothing coming ; 
All stands in front : the counsel of state-prudence, 
The dictate of necessity ! 

Wallenstein. 

What then ? 
What, my Lord Envoy ? May I not be suffered 
To understand that folks are tired of seeing 
The sword's hilt in my grasp : and that your cour 
Snatch eagerly at this pretence, and use 
The Spanish title, to drain off my forces, 
To lead into the empire a new army 
Unsubjected to my control. To throw me 
Plumply aside — I am still too powerful for you 
To venture that. My stipulation runs, 
That all the Imperial forces shall obey me 
Where'er the German is the native language. 
Of Spanish troops, and of Prince Cardinals, 
That take their route, as visitors, thro' the empire, 
There stands no syllable in my stipulation. 
No syllable ! And so the politic court 
Steals in a tiptoe, and creeps round behind it; 
First makes me weaker, then to be dispensed with, 
Till it dares strike at 'length a bolder blow 
And make short work with me. 

What need of all these crooked ways, Lord Envoy ? 
Straight-forward, man ! His compact with me pinches 
The Emperor. He would that I moved off ! — 
Well !— I will gratify him !— 

[Here there commences an agitation among the gene; s 
which increases continually. 
It grieves me for my noble officers' sake ! 
1 see not yet, by what means they will come at 
The moneys they have advanced, or how obtain 
The recompense their services demand. 
Still a new leader brings new claimants forward, 
And prior merit superannuates quickly. 
There serve here many foreigners in the army, 
And were the man in all else brave and gallant, 
1 was not wont to make nice scrutiny 
After his pedigree or catechism. 



THE PICCOLO MINI. 45 * 



This will be otherwise i' the time to come. 

Well — me no longer it concerns. [He seats himself 

Max. 

Forbid it, Heaven, that it should come to this ! 
Our troops will swell in dreadful fermentation- — 
The Emperor is abused — it cannot be. 

Isolani. 
It cannot be ; all goes to instant wreck. 

Wallenstein. 
Thou hast said truly, faithful Isolani ! 
What we with toil and foresight have built up, 
Will go to wreck — all go to instant wreck. 
What then? another chieftain is soon found, 
Another army likewise (who dares doubt it ?) 
Will flock from all sides to the Emperor 
At the first beat of his recruiting drum. 

[Baring this speech, Isolani, Tertsky, Illo, and Maradas 
talk confusedly with great agitation. 

Max. (busily and passionately going from one to another, and 

soothing them.) 
Hear, my commander ! hear me, Generals ! 
Let me conjure you, Duke ! Determine nothing, 
Till we have met and represented to you 
Our joint remonstrances. — Nay, calmer ! Friends ! 
I hope all may be yet set right again. 

Tertsky. 
Away ! let us away ! to th' antechamber 

Find we the others. [They go. 

Butler, (to Questenberg.) 
If good counsel gain 
Due audience from your wisdom, my Lord Envoy ! 
You will be cautious how you show yourself 
In public for some hours to come — or hardly 
Will that gold key protect you from mal-treatment. 

[Commotions heard from without. 

Wallenstein. 
A salutary counsel — Thou, Octavio ! 
Wilt answer for the safety of our guest. 

Farewell, Von Questenberg ! [Questenberg is about to speak. 

Nay, not a word. 



45^ COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Not one word more of that detested subject ! 
You have performed your duty — We know how 
To separate the office from the man. 

[As Questenberg is going off with Octavio, Ooetz, Tiefenbach, 
Kolatto, press in, several other generals following therr^ 

Goetz. 
Where's he, who means to rob us of our General ? 

Tiefenbach. {at the same time.) 
What are we forced to hear? That thou wilt leave us ? 

Kolatto. {at the same time.) 
We will live with thee, we will die with thee. 

Wallenstein. {with stateliness, and pointing to Illo.) 
There ! the Field-Marshal knows our will. [Exit. 

[While all are going off the stage, the curtain drops. 



ACT II.— SCENE I. 

A small Chamber. 

Illo and Tertsky. 

Tertsky. 
Now for this evening's business ! How intend you 
To manage with the generals at the banquet ? 

Illo. 
Attend ! We frame a formal declaration, 
Wherein we to the Duke consign ourselves 
Collectively, to be and to remain 
His both with life and limb, and not to spare 
The last drop of*our blood for him, provided 
So doing we infringe no oath or duty 
We may be under to the Emp'ror. — Mark ! 
This reservation we expressly make 
In a particular clause, and save the conscience. 
Now hear ! This formula so framed and worded 
Will be presented to them for perusal 
Before the banquet. No one will find in it 
Cause of offence or scruple. Hear now further 1 



THE FICCOLOMTNL 453 



After the feast, when now the vap'ring wine 
Opens the heart, and shuts the eyes, we let 
A counterfeited paper, in the which 
This one particular clause has been left out, 
Go round for signatures. 

Tertsky. 

How ? think you then 
That they'll believe themselves bound by an oath, 
Which we had tricked them into by a juggle? 

Illo. 
We shall have caught and caged them ! Let them then 
Beat their wings bare against the wires, and rave 
Loud as they may against our treachery, 
At court their signatures will be believed 
Far more than their most holy affirmations. 
Traitors they are, and must be ; therefore wisely 
Will make a virtue of necessity. 

Tertsky. 

Well, well, it shall content me ; let but something 
Be done, let only some decisive blow 
Set us in motion. 

Illo. 

Besides, 'tis of subordinate importance 
How, or how far, we may thereby propel 
The generals. 'Tis enough that we persuade 
The Duke, that they are his — Let him but act 
In his determined mood, as if he had them, 
And he will have them. Where he plunges in, 
He makes a whirlpool, and all stream down to it. 

Tertsky. 
His policy is such a labyrinth, 
That many a time when i" have thought myself 
Close at his side, he's gone at once, and left me 
Ignorant of the ground where I was standing. 
He lends the enemy his ear, permits me 
To write to them, to Arnheim, to Sesina ; 
Himself comes forward blank and undisguised, 
Talks with us by the hour about his plans, 
And when I think I have.him — off at once 
He has slipped from me, and appears as if 
He had nc scheme, but to retain his place. 



454 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

ILLO. 
He give up his old plans ! I'll tell you, friend ! 
His soul is occupied with nothing else, 
Even in his sleep — they are his thoughts, his dreams— — 
That day by day he questions for this purpose 
The motions of the planets 

Tertsky. 

Ay ! you know 
This night, that is now coming, he with Seni 
Shuts himself up in the astrological tower 
To make joint observations — for I hear, 
It is to be a night of weight and crisis, 
And something great, and of long expectation, 
Is to make its procession in the heaven. 

Illo. 
Come ! be we bold and make despatch. The work 
In this next day or two must thrive and grow 
More than it has for years. And let but only 

Things first turn up auspicious here below 

Mark what I say — the right stars too will show themselv«i. 
Come to the generals. All is in the glow, 
And must be beaten while 'tis malleable. 

Tertsky. 
Do you go thither, Illo. I must stay 
And wait here for the Countess Tertsky. Know, 
That we too are not idle. Break one string, 
A second is in readiness. 

Illo. 
* Yes! Yes! 
I saw your Lady smile with such sly meaning. 
What's in the wind ? 

Tertsky. 
A secret. Hush ! she comes. [Exit Ilia 

SCENE IT. 

(The Countess steps out from a closet.) 

Count and Countess Tertsky. 

Tertsky. 
Well — is she coming ? — I can keep him back 

No longer. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 455 



Countess. 
She will be there instantly ; 
You only send him. 

Tertskt. 
I am not quite certain, 
[ must confess it, Countess, whether or no 
We are earning the Duke's thanks hereby. You know 
No ray has broke out from him on this point. 
You have o'erruled me, and yourself knows best 
ilow far you dare proceed. 

Countess. 

I take it on me. 
[talking to herself, while she is advancing. 
Here's no need of full powers, and commissions — 
My cloudy Duke ! we understand each other — 
And without words. What, could I not unriddle 
Wherefore the daughter should be sent for hither, 
Why first he, and no other, should be chosen 
To fetch her hither ! This sham of betrothing her 
To a bridegroom,* whom no one knows — No ! no ! 
This may blind others ! I see thro' thee, Brother ! 
But it beseems thee not, to draw a card 
At such a game. Not yet ! — It all remains 

Mutely delivered up to my finessing 

Well — thou shalt not have been deceived, Duke Friedland ! 
In her who is thy sister. 

Servant, {enters.) 

The commanders! 

Tertsky. (to the Countess.) 
Take care yon heat his fancy and affections — 
Possess him with a reverie, and send him 
Absent and dreaming to the banquet ; that 
He may not boggle at the signature. 

Countess. 
Take you care of your guests ! — Go, send him hither. 

Tertsky. 
All rests upon his undersigning. 



* In Germany, after honorable addresses have been paid and formally accepted, the 
lovers are called bride and bridegroom, even though the marriage should not take 
place till years afterwards. 



45 6 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Countess, {interrupting him.) 
Cro to your guests ! Go 

Illo. (comes back.) 
Where art staying, Tertsky ? 
The house is full, and all expecting you. 

Tertsky. 
Instantly ! instantly ! [To the Countess. 

And let him not 
Stay here too long. It might awake suspicion 
In the old man 

Countess. 
A truce with your precautions ! {Exeunt Tertsky and Illo. 

SCENE III. 

Countess, Max. Piccolomini. 
Max. {peeping in on the stage shyly.) 
Aunt Tertsky ! may I venture ! 

[Advances to the middle of the stage, and looks around him 
with uneasiness. 

She's not here I 
Where is she ? 

Countess. 
Look but somewhat narrowly 
Tn yonder corner, lest perhaps she lie 
Concealed behind that screen. 

Max. 

There lie her gloves ! 
[Snatches at them, but the Countess takes them herself. 
You unkind Lady ! You refuse me this — 
You make it an amusement to torment me. 

Countess. 
And this the thanks you give me for my trouble ? 

Max. 
O, if you felt the oppression at my heart ! 
Since we've been here, so to constrain myself — 
With such poor stealth to hazard words and gl 
These, these are not my habits I 



THE PICCOLO MWL 457 

Countess. 

You have still 
Many new habits to acquire, young friend ! 
But on this proof of your obedient temper 
I must continue to insist ; and only 
On this condition can I play the agent 
For your concerns. 

Max. 
But wherefore comes she not ? 
Where is she ? 

Countess. 
Into my hands you must place it 
Whole and entire. Whom could you find, indeed, 
More zealously affected to your interest ? 
No soul on earth must know it — not your father. 
He must not above all. 

Max. 

Alas ! what danger ? 
Here is no face on which I might concentre 
All, the enraptured soul stirs up within me. 

Lady ! tell me. Is all changed around me ; 
Or is it only I ? 

I find myself 
As among strangers ! Not a trace is left 
Of all my former wishes, former joys. 
Where has it vanished to? There was a time 
When even, methought, with such a world as this 

1 was not discontented. Now, how flat ! 
How stale ! No life, no bloom, no flavor in it 1 
My comrades are intolerable to me. 

My father — Even to him I can say nothing. 
My arms, my military duties — ! 
They are such wearying toys ! 

Countess. 

But, gentle friend ! 
I must entreat it of your condescension, 
You would be pleased to sink your eye, and favor 
With one short glance or two this poor stale world, 
Where even now much, and of much moment, 
Is on the eve of its completion. 

Max. 

Something, 
I can't but know, is going forward round me. 



45 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

I see it gathering, crowding, driving on, 

In wild uncustomary movements. Well, 

In due time, doubtless, it will reach even me. 

Where think you I have been, dear Lady ? Nay, 

No raillery. The turmoil of the camp, 

The spring-tide of acquaintance rolling in, 

The pointless jest, the empty conversation, 

Oppressed and stifled me. I gasped for air — 

1 could not breathe — I was constrained to fly, 

To seek a silence out for my full heart ; 

And a pure spot wherein to feel my happiness. 

No smiling. Countess ! In the church was I. 

There is a cloister here to the heaven's gate,* 

Thither I went, there found myself alone. 

Qver the altar hung a holy mother ; 

A wretched painting 'twas, yet 'twas the friend 

That I was seeking in this moment. Ah, 

How oft have I beheld that glorious form 

In splendor, 'mid ecstatic worshippers, 

Yet still it moved me not ! and now at once 

Was my devotion cloudless as my love. 

Countess. 
Enjoy your fortune and felicity ! 

Forget the world around you. Meantime, friendship 
Shall keep strict vigils for you, anxious, active. 
Only be manageable when that friendship 
Points you the road to full accomplishment. 
How long may it be since you declared your passion ? 

Max. 
This morning did I hazard the first word. 

Countess. 
This morning the first in twenty days ? 

Max. 
Twas at that hunting-castle, betwixt here 
And Nepomuck, where you had joined us, and — 
That was the last relay of the whole journey ! 
In a balcony we were standing mute, 
And gazing out upon th« dreary field : 



* I am doubtful whether this he the dedication of the cloister, or the name of one of 
the city gates, n^ar >hich it stood. 1 have translated it in the former sense ; but fear* 
ful of having mad* 1 some blunder, 1 add the original :— 

Es ist ein Kloster hier zur Himmelspforte. 



THE P1CC0L0MINI. 459 



Before us the dragoons were riding onward, 

The safe-guard which the Duke had sent us — heavy 

The inquietude of parting lay upon me, 

And trembling ventured I at length these words: 

This all reminds me, noble maiden, that 

To-day 1 must take leave of my good fortune. 

A few hours more, and you will find a father, 

Will see yourself surrounded by new friends, 

And I henceforth shall be but as a stranger, 

Lost in the many — ' Speak with my aunt Tertsky! ' 

With hurrying voice she interrupted me. 

She faltered. I beheld a glowing red 

Possess her beautiful cheeks, and from the ground 

Raised slowly up, her eye met mine — no longer 

Did I control myself. 

[The Princess Thekla appears at the door, and remains stand' 
ing, observed by the Countess, but not by Piccolomini. 
With instant boldness 
I caught her in my arms, my mouth touched hers ; 
There was a rustling in the room close by ; 
It parted us — 'Tvvas you. What since has happened, 
You know. 

Countess, {after a pause, with a stolen glance at Thekla.) 
And is it your excess of modesty ; 
Or are you so incurious, that you do not 
Ask me too of my secret ? 

Max. 
Of your secret ? 

Countess. 
Why, yes ! When in the instant after you 
I stepped into the room, and found my niece there, 
What she in this first moment of the heart, 
Ta'en with surprise — 

Max. {with eagerness.) 
Well! 

SCENE IV. 

Thekla (hurries forward) , Countess, Max. Piccolomini. 

Thekla. {to the Countess). 
Spare yourself the trouble. 
That hears he better from myself. 



4*30 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Max. {stepping backward.) 

My Princess ! 
What have you let her hear me say, aunt Tertsky ! 

Thekla. (to the Countess.) 
Has he been here long ? 

Countess. 

Yes ; and soon must go. 
Where have you stayed so long ? 

Thekla. 

Alas ! my mother 
Wept so again ! and I — I see her suffer, 
Yet cannot keep myself from being happy. 

Max. 

Now once again I have courage to look on you, 
To-day at noon I could not. 
The dazzle of the jewels that played round you 
Hid the beloved from me. 

Thekla. 

Then you saw me 
With your eye only — and not with your heart ? 

Max. 
This morning, when I found you in the circle 
Of all your kindred, in your father's arms, 
Beheld myself an alien in this circle, 
O ! what an impulse felt I in that moment 
To fall upon his neck, to call him father ! 
But his stern eye o'erpowered the swelling passion — 
It dared not but be silent. And those brilliants, 
That like a crown of stars en wreathed your brows, 
They scared me too ! wherefore, wherefore should he 
At the first meeting spread as 'twere the bann 
Of excommunication round you, wherefore 
Dress up the angel as for sacrifice, 
And cast upon the light and joyous heart 
The mournful burthen of his station ? Fitly 
May love dare woo for love ; but such a splendor 
Might none but monarchs venture to approach. 

Thekla. 
Hush ! not a word more of this mummery, 
You see how soon the burthen is thrown off. 



THE PICCOLO MINI. 46 1 



He is not in spirits. Wherefore is he not? [to the Countess. 

'Tis you, .aunt, that have made him all so gloomy ! 

He had quite another nature on the journey — 

So calm, so bright, so joyous, eloquent. 

It was my wish to see you always so, [to Max* 

And never otherwise ! 

Max. 
You find yourself 
In your great father's arms, beloved lady ! 
<U1 in a new world, which does homage to you, 
And which, were't only by its novelty, 
Delights your eye. 

Thekla. 
Yes ; I confess to you 
That many things delight me here : this camp, 
This motley stage of warriors which renews 
So manifold the image of my fancy, 
And binds to life, binds to reality, 
What hitherto had but been present to me 
As a sweet dream ! 

Max. 
Alas ! not so to me. 
It makes a dream of my reality. 
Upon some island in the ethereal heights 
I've lived for these last days. This mass of men 
Forces me down to earth. It is a bridge 
That, reconducting to my former life, 
Divides me and my heaven. 

Thekla. 
The game of life 
Looks cheerful, when one carries in one's heart 
The unalienable treasure. 'Tis a game, 
Which having once reviewed, I turn more joyous 
Back to my deeper and appropriate bliss. 

[breaking off and in a sportive torn 
[n this short time that I've been present here, 
What new unheard of things have I not seen ? 
And yet they all must give place to the wonder 
Wlaich this mysterious castle guards. 

Countess, {recollecting.) 

And what 
Can this be then ? Methought I was acquainted 
With all the dusky corners of this house. 



462. COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Thkkla. {smiling.) 
Ay, but the road thereto is watched by spirits, 
Two griffins still stand sentry at the door. 

Countess, {laughs.) 
The astrological tower ! — How happens it 
That this same sanctuary, whose access, 
Is to all others so impracticable, 
Opens before you e'en at your approach ? 

Thekla. 
A dwarfish old man with a friendly face 
And snow-white hairs, whose gracious services 
Were mine at first sight, open me the doors. 

Max. 
That is the Duke's astrologer, old Seni. 

Thekla. 
He questioned me on many points ; for instance, 
When 1 was born, what month, and on what dayj 
Whether by day or in the night. 

Countess. 

He wished 
To erect a figure for your horoscope. 

Thekla. 
My hand too he examined, shook his head 
With much sad meaning, and the lines, methought, 
Did not square over truly with his wishes. 

Countess. 
Well, Princess, and what found you in this tower ? 
My highest privilege has been to snatch 
A side glance, and away ! 

Thekla. 

It was a strange 
Sensation that came o'er me, when at first 
From the broad sunshine I stepped in ; and now 
The narrowing line of day-light, that ran after 
The closing door, was gone ; and all about me 
'Twas pale and dusky night, with many shadows 
Fantastically cast. Here six or seven 
Colossal statues, and all kings, stood round me 
In a half circle. Each one in his hand 






A sceptre bore, and on his head a star, 

And in the tower no other light was there 

But from these stars : all seemed to come from them. 

' These are the planets,' said that low old man, 

'They govern wordly fates, and for that cause 

Are imaged here as kings. That farthest from you, 

Spiteful and cold, an old man melancholy, 

With bent and yellow forehead, he is Saturn. 

He opposite, the king with the red light, 

An armed man for the battle, that is Mars : 

And both these bring but little luck to man.' 

But at his side a lovely lady stood, 

The star upon her head was soft and bright, 

And that was Venus, the bright star of joy. 

On the left hand, lo ! Mercury, with wings. 

Quite in the middle glittered silver- bright 

A cheerful man, and with a monarch's mien ; 

And this was Jupiter, my father's star : 

And at his side 1 saw the Sun and Moon. 

Max. 

O never rudely will I blame his faith 

In the might of stars and angels ! 'Tis not merely 

The human being's pride that peoples space 

With life and mystical predominance ; 

Since likewise for the stricken heart of Love 

This visible nature, and this common world, 

Is all too narrow : yea, a deeper import 

Lurks in the legend told my infant years 

Than lies upon that truth, we live to learn. 

For fable is Love's world, his home, his birthplace : 

Delightedly dwells he 'mong fays, and talismans, 

And spirits ; and delightedly believes 

Divinities, being himself divine. 

The intelligible forms of ancient poets, 

The fair humanities of old religion, 

The power, the beauty, and the majesty, 

That had their haunts in dale, or piny mountain, 

Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly Kj ; m in^:. 

Or chasms and wat'ry depths ; all these have vanished ; 

They live no longer in the faith of reason ! 

But still the heart doth need a language, still 

Doth the old instinct bring back the old names. 

And to yon starry world they now are gone, 

Spirits or gods, that used to share this earth 

With man as with their friend ; and to the lover 



464 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



Yonder they move, from yonder visible sky 
Shoot influence down : and even at this day 
'Tis Jupiter who brings whate'er is great, 
And Venus who brings every thing that's fair ! 

Thekla. 

And if this be the science of the stars, 

1 too, with glad and zealous industry, 

Will learn acquaintance with this cheerful faith 

It is a gentle and affectionate thought, 

That in immeasurable height above us, 

At our first birth, the wreath of love was woven, 

With sparkling stars for flQwers. 

Countess. 

Not only roses, 
But thorns too hath the heaven ; and well for you 
Leave they your wreath of love inviolate. 
What Venus twined, the bearer of glad fortune, 
The sullen orb of Mars soon tears to pieces. 

Max. 

Soon will its gloomy empire reach its close. 

Blest be the General's zeal : into the laurel 

Will he inweave the olive-branch, presenting 

Peace to the shouting nations. Then no wish 

Will have remained for his great heart ! Enough 

Has he performed for glory, and can now 

Live for himself and his. To his domains 

Will he retire ; he has a stately seat 

Of fairest view at Gitschin ; Reichenberg, 

And Friedland Castle, both lie pleasantly — 

Even to the foot of the huge mountains here 

Stretches the chase and covers of his forests ; 

His ruling passion, to create the splendid, 

He can indulge without restraint ; can give 

A princely patronage to every art, 

And to all worth a sovereign's protection. 

Can build, can plant, can watch the starry courses— 

Countess. 



Yet I would have you look, and look again, 
Before you lay aside your arms, young friend ! 
A gentle bride, as she is, is well worth it 
That you should woo and win her with 



the sword. 



THE PTCCOLOMINI. 4&5 



Max. 
O, that the sword could win her ! 

Countess. 

What was that ? 
Did you hear nothing ? Seemed as if I heard 
Tumult and larum in the banquet- rooin. [Exit Countess. 



SCENE V. 

Thekla and Max. Piccolomini. 

Thekla. {As soon as the Countess is out of sight, in a quick low 

voice to Piccolomini.) 
Don't trust them ! They are false ! 

Max. 

Impossible ! 

Thelka. 
Trust no one here but me. I saw at once, 
They had a purpose. 

Max. 
Purpose ! but what purpose 7 
And how can we be instrumental to it ? 

Thekla. 
J know no more than you ; but yet, believe me, 
There's some design in this ! To make us happy, 
To realize our union — trust me, love! 
They but pretend to wish it. 

Max. 

But these Tertskies — > . 
Why use we them at all ? Why not your mother ? 
Excellent creature ! she deserves from us 
A full and filial confidence. 

Thekla. 

She doth love you, 
Doth rate you high before all others — but — 
But such a secret — she would never have 
The courage to conceal it from my father. 
For her own peace of mind we must preserve it 
A secret from her too. 

30 



466 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Max. 
Why any secret ? 
I love not secrets. Mark what I will do. 
I'll throw me at your father's feet — let him 
Decide upon my fortunes ! — He is true, 
He wears no mask — he hates all crooked ways — 
He is so good, so noble ! 

Thekla. (falls on his neck.) 
That are you 1 

Max. 
You knew him only since this morn ; but I 
Have lived ten years already in his presence, 
And who knows whether in this very moment 
He is not merely waiting for us both 
To own our loves, in order to unite us 

You are silent ? 

You look at me with such a hopelessness ! 
What have you to object against your father? 

Thekla. 

I ? Nothing. Only he's so occupied — 
He has no leisure time to think about 
The happiness of us two. [Taking his hand tenderly 

Follow me ! 
Let us not place too great a faith in men. 
These Tertskies — we will still be grateful to them 
For every kindness, but not trust them further 

Than they deserve ; — and in all else rely 

On our own hearts ! 

Max. 
O ! shall we e'er be happy ? 

Thekla. 
Are we not happy now ? Art thou not mine ? 
Am I not thine ? There lives within my soul 
A lofty courage — 'tis love gives it me ! 
I ought to be less open — ought to hide 
My heart more from thee — so decorum dictates. 
But where in this nlai'e could'st thou seek for truth 
If in my mouth thou did'st not find it ? 






'- 



THE FICCOLOMWI. 4^7 



SCENE VI. 

To them enters the Countess Tertsky. 

Countess, {in a pressing manner.) 

Come 1 
My husband sends me for you — It is now 
The latest moment. 

[They not appearing to attend to what she says, she steps be* 
tween them. 

Part you ! 

Thekla= 

O, not yet ! 
It has been scarce a moment (< 

Countess. 

Ay ! Then time 
Flies swiftly with your Highness, Princess niece ! 

Max. 
There is no hurry, aunt, 

Countess. 

Away ! away ! 
The folks begin to miss you. Twice already 
His father has asked for him. 

Thekla. 

Ha ! his father 

Countess- 
You understand that, niece. 

Thekla. 
Why needs he 
To go at all to that society ? 
5 Tis not his proper company. They may 
Be worthy men, but he's too young for them. 
In brief, he suits not such society. 

Countess. 
You mean, you'd rather keep him wholly here? 

Thekla. (with energy.) 
Yes ! you have hit it, aunt I That is my meaniii. 
Leave him here wholly ! Tell the company — 



468 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Countess. 

What ? — have you lost your senses, niece? 

Count, you vemember the conditions. Come ! 

Max. (to Thekla.) 
Lady, I must obey. Farewell, dear lady ! 

[ Thekla turns away from him with a quick motions 
What say you then, dear lady ? 

Thekla. [without looking at him.) 
Nothing. Go ! 
Max. 



Can I, when you are angry 

[He draws up to her, their eyes meet, she stands silent a 
moment, then throws herself into his arms ; lie presses her 
fast to his- heart. 

Countess. 
Off ! Heavens ! if any one should come ! 
Hark ! What's that noise ? It comes this way.— Off ! 

[Max. tears himself away out of her arms, and goes. The 
Countess accompanies him. Thekla follows him with her 
eyes at first, walks restlessly across the room, then stops, 
and remains standing, lost in thought, A guitar lies on 
the table, she seizes it as by a sudden emotion, and after 
she has played awhile an irregular and melancholy sym- 
phony, she falls gradually into the music and sings. 

Thekla. [plays and sings.) 
The cloud doth gather, the greenwood roar, 
The damsel paces along the shore ; 
The billows they tumble with might, with might ; 
And she flings out her voice to the darksome night; 

Her bosom is swelling with sorrow : 
The world is empty, the heart will die, 
There's nothing to wish for beneath the sky : 
Thou Holy One, call thy child away ! 

I've lived and loved, and that was to-day 

Make ready my grave-clothes to-morrow.* 



* I found it not in my power to translate this song with literal fidelity, preserving 
at the same time the Alcaic movement ; and have therefore added the original with a 
prose translation. Some of my readers may be more fortunate. 

Thekla. (Spielt und singt.) 
Der Eichenwald brauset, die Wolken ziehn, 
Das Magdleiu wandelt an Ufers Griin, 
Es bricht sich die Welle mit Macht,mit Macht, 
And sie singt hinaus in die iinstre Nacht, 



THE riCCOLOMINI. 4°9 



SCENE VII. 

Countess {returns), Thkkla. 
Countess. 
Fie, lady niece ! to throw yourself upon him. 
Like a poor gift to one who cares not for it, 
And so must be flung after him ! For you, 
Duke Friedland's only child. I should have thought 
It had been more beseeming to have shown yourself 
More chary of your person . 

Thelka. {rising.) 

And what mean you ? 

Countess. 

I mean, niece, that you should not have forgotten 
Who you are, and who he is. But perchance 
That never once occurred to you. 

Thekla. 

What then? 
Countess. 
That you're the daughter of the Prince-duke Friedland. 

Das Auge von Weinen getriibet: 
Das Herz 1st gestorben. die Welt ist leer. 
Und weiter giebt sie dem Wunsehe niehts mehr. 
Du Heilige. rufe dein Kind zui Lick, 
Icli habe genossen das irdisehe Gluck, 

Ich habe gelebt and geliebet. 

LITERAL TRANSLATION. 

Thekla. {Plays and sings.) 

The oak-forest bellows, the clouds gather, the damsel walks to and fro on the given 
of the shore ; the wave breaks with might, with might, and she sings out into the dark 
night, her eye discolored with weeping : the heart is dead, the world is empty, and fur 
ther gives it nothing more to "the wish. Thou Holy One. call thy child home, 1 hav»j 
enjoyed the happiness of this world, 1 have lived and have loved. 

I cannot but add here an imitation of this song, with which the author of l The Tab- 
of Rosamund Gray and Blind Margaret ' has favored me, and which appears to me to 
have caught the happiest manner of our old ballads. 

The clouds are blackening, the storms threatening, 

The cavern doth mutter, the greenwood moan ; 
Billows are breaking, the damsel's heart aching ; 

Thus in the dark night &he singeth alone, 
Her eye upward roving : 
The world is empty, the heart is dead surely, 

In this world plainly all seemeth amiss , 
To thy heaven, Holy One, take homo thy little one, 

1 have partaken of all earth's bliss, 
Both living and loving. 



*7° 



COLERIDGE >S EOEMS. 



Thekla. 
Well — and what further ? 

Countess. 

What ? a pretty question ! 

Thekla. 
He was born that which we have but become. 
He's of an ancient Lombard family, 
Son of a reigning princess. 

Countess. 

Are you dreaming? 
Talking in sleep? An excellent jest, forsooth ! 
We shall, no doubt, right courteously entreat him 
To honor with his hand the richest heiress 
In Europe. 

Thekla. 
That will not be necessary. 

Countess. 
Methinks 'twere well tho' not to run the hazard. 

Thekla. 
His father loves him, Count Octavio 
Will interpose no difficulty 

Countess. 

His I 
His father ! his ! But yours, niece, what of yours ? 

Thekla. 
Why I begin to think you fear his father, 
So anxiously you hide it from the man ; 
His father, his, I mean. 

Countess, (looks at her, as scrutinizing.) 
Niece, you are false. 

Thekla. 
Are you then wounded ? O, be friends with me I 

Countess. 
You hold your game for won already. Do not 
Triumph too soon ! — 

Thekla. (interrupting her, and attempting to soothe her.) 
Nay now, be friends with me. 



THE PICCOLOMINL 47 1 



Countess. 
It is not yet so far gone. 

Thekla. 
I believe you. 

Countess. 
Did you suppose your father had laid out 
His most important life in toils of war, 
Denied himself each quiet earthly bliss, 
Had banished slumber from his tent, devoted 
His noble head to care, and for this only, 
To make a happy pair of you ? At length 
To draw you from your convent, and conduct 
In easy triumph to your arms the man 
That chanced to please your eyes ! All this, methinks, 
He might have purchased at a cheaper rate. 

Thekla. 
That which he did not plant for me, might yet 
Bear me fair fruitage of its own accord. 
And if my friendly and affectionate fate, 
Out of his fearful and enormous being, 
Will but prepare the joys of life for me — 

Countess. 

Thou seest it with a lovelorn maiden's eyes. 
Cast thine eye round, bethink thee who thou art. 
Into no house of joyance hast thou stepped, 
For no espousals dost thou find the walls 
Decked out, no guests the nuptial garland wearing. 
Here is no splendor but of arms. Or think'st thou 
That all these thousands are here congregated 
To lead up the long dances at thy wedding ? 
Thou see'st thy father's forehead full of thought, 
Thy mother's eyes in tears : upon the balance 
Lies the great destiny of all our house. 
Leave now the piiny wish, the girlish feeling, 
O thrust it far behind thee ! Give thou proof, 
That thou'rt the daughter of the Mighty — his 
Who where he moves creates the wonderful. 
Not to herself the woman must belong, 
Annexed and bound to alien destinies. 
But she performs the best part, she the wisest, 
Who can transmute the alien into self. 
Meet and disarm necessity by choice : 



47 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



And what must be, take freely to her heart, 
And bear and foster it with mother's love. 

Thekla. 
Such ever was my lesson in the convent. 
I had no loves, no wishes, knew myself 
Only as his — his daughter — his, the Mighty ! 
His fame, the echo of whose blast drove to me 
From the far distance, wakened in my soul 
No other thought than this — I am appointed 
To offer up myself in passiveness to him. 

Countess. 
That is thy fate. Mould thou thy wishes to it. 
I and thy mother gave thee the example. 

Thekla 
My fate hath shown me him, to whom behoves it 
That I should offer up myself. In gladness 
Him will I follow. 

Countess. 

Not thy fate hath shown him ; 
Thy heart, say rather — 'twas thy heart, my child ! 

Thekla. 
Fate hath no voice but the heart's impulses. 
I am all his ! His, present — his alone 
Is this new life, which lives in me. He hath 
A right to his own creature. What was I 
Ere his fair love infused a soul into me ? 

Countess. 
Thou would'st oppose thy father then, should he 
Have otherwise determined with thy person ? 

[ Thekla remains silent. The Countess continues* 
Thou mean'st to force him to thy liking ? — Child, 
His name is Friedland. 

Thekla. 

My name too is Friedland. 
He shall have found a genuine daughter in me. 

Countess. 
What ? he has vanquished all impediment, 
And in the wilful mood of his own daughter 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 473 



Shall a new struggle rise for him ? Child ! child ! 
As yet thou hast seen thy father's smiles alone ; 
The eye of his rage thou hast not seen. Dear child, 
I will not frighten thee. To that extreme, 
I trust, it ne'er shall come. His will is yet 
Unknown to me : 'tis possible, his aims 
May have the same direction as thy wish. 
But this can never, never be his will, 
That thou, the daughter of his haughty fortunes, 
fchould'st e'er demean thee as a love-sick maiden ; 
And like some poor cost-nothing, fling thyself 
Toward the man, who, if that high prize ever 
Be destined to await him, yet, with sacrifices 
The highest love can bring, must pay for it. 

[Exit Countess. 
Thrkla. (who during the last speech had been standing evidently 

lost in her reflections.) 
I thank thee for the hint. It turns 
My sad presentiment to certainty. 
And it is so ! — Not one friend have we here, 
Not one true heart ! we've nothing but ourselves ! 

she said rightly — no auspicious signs 
Beam on this covenant of our affections. 
This is no theatre, where hope abides. 

The dull thick noise of war alone stirs here. 
And Love himself, as he were armed in steel, 
Steps forth, and girds him for the strife of death. 

[Music from the banquet-room is heard. 
There's a dark spirit walking in our house, 
And swiftly will the destiny close on us. 
It drove me hither from my calm asylum, 
It mocks my soul with charming witchery, 
It lures me forward in a seraph's shape, 

1 see it near, I see it nearer floating, 

It draws, it pulls me with a god-like power — 
And lo ! — the abyss — and thither am I moving — 
I have no power within me not to move ! 

[The music from the banquet-room becomes louder* 
when a house is doomed in fire to perish, 
Many and dark heaven drives his clouds together, 
Yea, shoots his lightnings down from sunny heights, 
Flames burst from out the subterraneous chasms, 
* And fiends and angels, mingling in their fury, 
Fling fire-brands at the burning edifice. [Exit Thekla. 

♦There are few, who will not have taste enough to laugh at the two concluding lines 
of this soliloquy ; and still fewer, I would fain hope, who would not have been more 



474 COLERIDGE'S EOEMS. 



SCENE VIII. 

A large saloon lighted up with festal splendor ; in the midst 
of it, and in the centre of the stage, a table richly set out, at 
which eight generals are sitting, among whom are Octavio 
Piccolomini, Tkrtsky, and Maradas. Right and left of 
this, but farther back, two other tables, at each of which six 
persons are placed. The middle door', which is standing 
open, gives to the prospect a fourth table, with the same 
number of persons. More forward stands the sideboard. The 
whole front of the stage is kept open for the pages and servants 
in waiting* All is in motion. The band of music belonging 
to Tertsky' s regiment march across the stage, and draw up 
round the tables. Before they are quite off from the front of 
the stage, Max. Piccolomini appears; Tertsky advances 
towards him with a paper, Isolani comes up to him wit.i a 
beaker or service-cup. 

Tertsky, Isolani, Max. Piccolomini. 

ISOLANI. 

Here, brother, what we love ! Why, where hast been ? 
Off, to thy place — quick ! Tertsky here has given 
The mother's holiday wine up to free booty. 
Here it goes on as at the Heidelberg castle. 
Already hast thou lost the best. They're giving 
At yonder table ducal crowns in shares ; 
There's Sternberg's lands and chattels are put up, 
With Eggenberg's, Stawata's, Lichtenstein's, 
And all the great Bohemian feudalities. 
Be nimble, lad ! and something may turn up 
For thee— who knows ? Off— to thy place ! quick ! march ! 
Tirfhnbach and Gortz {call out from the second and third tables-} 
Count Piccolomini ! 

Tertsky, 
Stop, ye shall have him in an instant. — Read 
This oatli here, whether as 'tis here set forth, 
The wording satisfies you. They've all read it, 
Each in his turn, and each one will subscribe 
His individual signature. 

disposed to shudder, had I given a faithful translation. For the readers of Germap i 

have added the original ■ — 

Blind wuthendsehleudert, selhst der Got.t der Freude 
l>on I'echkranz in dab Oicnnendw Gebaude. 

■ **, 



THE PTCCOLOMTNT. 475 



Max. [reads.) 
■ Ingratis servire nefai.' 

ISOLANI. 

That sounds to my ears very much like Latin, 
And being interpreted, pray what may't mean? 

Tertsky. 
No honest man will serve a thankless master. 

Max. 

4 Inasmuch as our supreme commander, the illustrious Duke of 
Friedland, in consequence of the manifold affronts and grievances 
which he has received, had expressed his determination to quit 
the Emperor, but on our unanimous entreaty has graciously con- 
sented to remain still with the army, and not to part from us 
without our approbation thereof, so we, collectively and each in 
particular, in the stead of an oath personally taken, do hereby 
oblige ourselves — likewise by him honorably and faithfully to 
hold, and in no wise whatsoever from him to part, and to be ready 
to shed for his interests the last drop of our blood, so far, namely, 
as our oath to the Emperor will permit it. [These last words are 
repeated by Isolani.) In testimony of which we subscribe our 
names.' 

Tertsky. 
Now t— are you willing to subscribe this paper ? 

Isolani. 
Why should lie not? All officers of honor 
Can do it, ay, must do it. — Pen and ink here ! 

Tertsky. 
Nay, let it rest till after meal. 

Isolani. (drawing Max. along.) 
Gome, Max. [Both seat themselves at their table* 

SCENE IX. 

Tertsky, Neumann. 
Tertsky. (beckons to Neumann who is waiting at the side tahi* ( 

and steps forward with him to the edge of the stage.) 
Have you the copy with you, Neumann ? Give it. 
It may be changed for the other ? 



47 & COLERIDGE'S rOEMS. 

Neumann. 

I have copied it 
Letter by letter, line by line ; no eye 
Would e'er discover other difference. 
Save only the omission of that clause, 
According to your Excellency's order, 

Tertsky. 
Right ! Lay it yonder, and away with this — 
It has performed its business — to the fire with it — 

[Neumann lays the copy on the table, and steps back again to 
the side table, 

SCENE X. 

Illo {comes out from the second chamber), Tertsky. 
Illo. 
How goes it with young Piccolomini ? 

Tertsky. 
All right, I think. He has started no objection. 

Illo. 
He is the only one I fear about — 
He and his father. Have an eye on both I 

Tertsky. 
How looks it at your table ? You forget not 
To keep them warm and stirring ? 

Illo. 

O, quite cordial, 
They are quite cordial in the scheme. We have them. 
And 'tis as I predicted too. Already 
It is the talk, not merely to maintain 
The Duke in station. ' Since we're once for all 
Together and unanimous, why not,' 
Says Montecuculi, ' ay, why not onward, 
And make conditions with the Emperor 
There in his own Vienna ? ' Trust me, Count, 
Were it not for these said Piccolomini, 
We might have spared ourselves the cheat. 

Tertsky. 

And Butler * 
How goes it there ? Hush I 



L 



THE riCCOLOMINI. 477 



SCENE XL 

To them enters Butler from the second table. 
Butler. 

Don't disturb yourselves 
Field-Marshal, I have understood you perfectly, 
(rood luck be to the scheme ; and as to me, 

\with an air of mystery, 
You may depend upon me. 

Illo. (with vivacity.) 

May we, Butler ? 

Butler. 
With or without the clause, all one to me ! 
You understand me? My fidelity 
The Duke may put to any proof— I'm with him J 
Tell him so ! I'm the Emperor's officer, 
As long as 'tis his pleasure to remain 
The Emperor's general ; and Friedland's servant, 
As soon as it shall please him to become 
His own lord. 

Tertsky, 

You would make a good exchange ; 
No stern economist, no Ferdinand, 
Is he to whom you plight your services. 

Butler, (with a haughty look.) 

I do not put up my fidelity 

To sale, Count Tertsky ! Half a year ago 

I would not have advised you to have made me 

An overture to that, to which I now 

Offer myself of my own free accord. — 

But that is past ! and to the Duke, Field- Marshal, 

I bring myself together with my regiment. 

And mark you, 'tis my humor to believe, 

The example which I give will not remain 

Without an influence. 

Illo. 
Who is ignorant, 
That the whole army look to Colonel Butler, 
As to a light that moves before them ? 



47 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Butler. 

Ey? 
Then I repent me not of that fidelity 
Which for the length of forty years I held. 
If in my sixtieth year my good old name 
Can purchase for me a revenge so full. 
Start not at what I say, sir generals ! 
My real motives — they concern not you. 
And you yourselves, I trust, could not expect 
That this your game had crooked my judgment — op 
That fickleness, quick blood, or such like cause, 
Has driven the old man from the track of honor, 
Which he so long had trodden. — Come, my friends! 
I'm not thereto determined with less firmness, 
Because I know and have looked steadily 
At that on which I have determined. 

Lllo. 
Say, 
And speak roundly, what are we to deem you? 

Butler. 
A friend ! I give you here my hand ! I'm yours 
With all I have. Not only men, but money 
Will the Duke want.- — Go, tell him, sirs ! 
I've earned and laid up somewhat in his service, 
I lend it him ! and is he my survivor, 
It has been already long ago bequeathed him. 
He is my heir. For me, I stand alone 
Here in the world ; nought know I of the feelings 
That bind the husband to a wife and children, 
My name dies with me, my existence ends. 

Illo. 
'Tis not your money that he needs — a heart 
Like yours weighs tons of gold down, weighs down millions! 

Butler. 
I came a simple soldier's boy from Ireland 
To Prague — and with a master, whom I buried. 
From lowest stable duty I climbed up, 
Such was the fate of war, to this high rank, 
The plaything of a whimsical good fortune. 
And Wallenstein too is a child of luck, 
I love a fortune that is like my own. 

Illo. 
All powerful souls have kindred with each other. 



THE PICC0L0MIN2. 479 



Butler. 
This is an awful moment ! to the brave, 
To the determined, and auspicious moment. 
The Prince of Weimer arms, upon the Maine 
To found a mighty dukedom. He of Halberstadt, 
That Mansfeld wanted but a longer life 
To have marked out with his good sword a lordship 
That should reward his courage. Who of these 
Equals our Fried land ? There is nothing, nothing 
So high, but he may set the ladder to it \ 

Tertsky. 
That's spoken like a man ! 

Butler. 
Do you secure the Spaniard and Italian — 
I'll be your warrant for the Scotchman Lesly. 
Come ! to the company ! 

Tertsky. 
Where is the master of the cellar ? Ho ! 
Let the best wines come up. Ho ! cheerly, boy ! 
Luck comes to-day, so give her hearty welcome. 

[Exeunt each to his table. 

SCENE XII. 

The Master op the Cellar advancing with Neumann, 
Servants passing backwards and fomoards. 

Master of the Cellar. 
The best wines ! O ! if my old mistress, his lady mother, could 
but see these wild goings on, she would turn herself round in her 
grave. Yes, yes, sir officer ! 'tis all down the hill with this noble 
house ! no end, no moderation ! And this marriage with the 
Duke's sister, a splendid connection, a very splendid connection I 
but I tell you, sir officer, it bodes no good. 

Neumann. 
Heaven forbid ! Why, at this very moment the whole prospect 
Is in bud and blossom ! 

Master of the Cellar. 
You think so ? — Well, well, much may be said on that head. 

1st Servant, {comes.) 
Burgundy for the fourth table. 



Master of the Cellar. 
Now, sir lieutenant, if this isn't the seventieth flask — 
1st Servant. 
Why, the reason is, that German lord, Tiefenbach, sits at that 
table. 

Master op the Cellar, {continuing his discourse to Neumann.) 
They are soaring too high. They would rival kings and elect- 
ors in their pomp and splendor; and wherever the Duke leaps, 
not a minute does my gracious master, the Count, loiter on the 
brink. — (To the Servants.) — What do you stand there listening 
for ? I will let you know you have legs presently. Off ! see to the 
tables, see to the flasks ! Look there ! Count Palfi has an empty 
glass before him ! 

Runner, {comes.) 
The great service-cup is wanted, sir ; that rich gold cup with 
the Bohemian arms on it. The Count says you know which it is. 

Master op the Cellar. 
Ay! that was made for Frederick's coronation, by the artists 
William— there was not such another prize in the whole booty at 
Prague. 

Runner. 
The same !— a health is to go round in him. 

Master of the Cellar, (shaking his head while he fetches and 

rinses the cup.) 
This will be something for the tale-bearers — this goes to Vienna. 

Neumann. 
Permit me to look at it. — Well, this is a cup indeed ! Ttow 
heavy ! as well it may be, being all gold. — And what neat things 
are embossed on it ! how natural and elegant they look ! — There, 
on the first quarter, let me see. That proud Amazon there on 
horseback, she that is taking a leap over the crosiers and mitres, 
and carries on a wand, a hat, together with a banner, on which 
there's a goblet represented. Can you tell me what all this signi- 
fies? 

Master of the Cellar. 
The woman whom you see there on horseback, is the Free 
Election of the Bohemian crown. That is signified by the round 
hat, and by that fiery steed on which she is riding. The hat is 
the pride of man ; for he who cannot keep his hat on before kings 
and emperors is no free man. 



THE riCCOLOMINI. 481 



Neumann. 
But what is the cup there on the banner ? 

Master of the Cellar. 
The cup signifies the freedom of the Bohemian Church, as it 
was in our forefathers' times. Our forefathers, in the wars of the 
Hussites, forced from the pope this noble privilege ; for the pope, 
jrou know, will not grant the cup to any layman. Your true 
Moravian values nothing beyond the cup ; it is his costly jewel, 
and has cost the Bohemians their precious blood in many and 
many a battle. 

Neumann. 
And what says that chart that hangs in the air there, over it all ? 

Master op the Cellar. 
That signifies the Bohemian letter royal, which we forced from 
the Emperor Rodolph — a precious, never to be enough valued 
parchment, that secures to the new Church the old privileges of 
free ringing and open psalmody. But since he of Stiermark has 
ruled over us, that is at an end ; and after the battle at Prague, 
in which Count Palatine Frederick lost his crown and empire, our 
faith hangs upon the pulpit and altar — and our brethren look at 
their homes over their shoulders; but the letter royal the Emperor 
himself cut to pieces with his scissors. 

Neumann. 
Why, my good Master of the Cellar ! you are deep read in the 
chronicles of your country ? 

Master of the Cellar. 
So were my forefathers, and for that reason were they min- 
strels, and served under Procopius and Ziska. Peace be with 
their ashes! Well, well! they fought for a good cause tlio' — 
There ! carry it up ! 

Neumann. 
Stay ! let me but look at this second quarter. Look there ! 
That is, when at Prague Castle the Imperial Counsellors, Martin- 
itz and Stawata, were hurled down head over heels. 'Tis even so ! 
there stands Count Thur who commands it. 

[Runner takes the service-cup and goes off with it. 

Master of the Cellar. 
O let me never more hear of that day. It was the three and 
twentieth of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand, six hun- 
dred, and eighteen. It seems to me as it were but yesterday — from 

31 



482 COLERIDGE\£ POEMS 



that unlucky clay it all began, all the heart-aches of the country. 

Since that day it is now pixreen years, and there has never once 

been peace on the earth. [ Health drank aloud at the second table. 

The Prince of Weimar ! Hurra ! [At the third and fourth tables. 

Long live Prince Wiiliatn ! Long live Duke Bernard ! Hurra ! 

[Music strikes up. 
1st Servant. 
Hear'em ! Hear'em ! What an uproar ! 

2d Servant, (comes in running.) 
Did you near ? They have drunk the Prince of Weimar's health. 

3d Servant. 
The Swedish Chief Commander ! 

1st Servant, {speaking at the same time.) 
The Lutheran ! 

2d Servant. 
Just before, Avhen Count Deodate gave out the Emperor's 
health, they were all as mum as a nibbling mouse. 

Master of the Cellar. , 

Poh, poh ! When the wine goes in strange things come out. 
A good servant hears and hears not !— You should be nothing but 
eyes and feet, except when you're called to. 

2d Servant, (to the Runner, to whom he gives secretly a flask of 

wine, keeping his eye upon the Master of the Cellar, 

standing between him and the Runner.) 

Quick, Thomas, before the Master of the Cellar looks this way 
—'tis a flask of Fiontignac ! Snapped it up at the third table.— 
Canst go off with it ? 

Runner, (hides it in his pocket.) 
All right ! ■ [Exit the 2d Servant. 

3d Servant, {aside, to the first.) 
Be on the hark, Jack ! that we may have right plenty to tell 
to father Quivoga — He will give us right plenty of absolution in 
return for it. 

1st Servant. 
For that very purpose I am always having something to do 
behind Illo's chair ! — He is the man for speeches to make you stare 
with. 

Master of the Cellar, (to Neumann.) 
Who, pray, may that swarthy man be, he with the cross, that 
is chatting so confidentially with Esterhats ? 



THE PICCQLQMWT 4$3 



Neumann. 
Ay, he too is one of those to whom they confide too much. He 
*>alls himself Maradas, a Spaniaid is he. 

Master of the Cellar, {impatiently.) 
Spaniard! Spaniard! I tell you, friend, nothing good comes 
of these Spaniards. All these outlandish fellows* are little bettei 
than rogues. 

Neumann. 
Fie, fie ! you should not say so, friend. There are among them 
our very best generals, and those on whom the Duke at this mo- 
ment relies the most. 

Master of the Cellar, {taking the flask out of the Runner's 

pocket.) 
My son, it will be broken to pieces in your pocket. 

[Tertsky hurries in, fetches away the paper, and calls to 
a servant for pen and ink, and goes to the back of the 
stage. 

Master of the Cellar, (to the Servants.) 
The Lieutenant-General stands up. — Be on the watch. — Now I 
They break up. — Off, and move back the forms ! 

[They rise at all the tables, the servants hurry off the front 
of the stage to the tables; part o° the guests come for- 
ward. 

SCENE XIII. 

[Octavio Piccolomini enters in conversation with Maradas, 
and both place themselves quite on the edge of the stage on 
one side of the proscenium. On the side directly opposite, 
Max. Piccolomini, by himself, lost in thought, and taking 
no part in anything that is going forward. The middle 
space betv)een both, but rather more distant from the edge of 
the stage, is filled up by Butler, Isolani, Goetz, Tlefen- 
bach, and Kolatto. 

Isolani. (while the company is coming forward.) 
Good night, good night, Kolatto ! Good night, Lieutenant- 
General ! — I should rather say good morning. 

* There is a humor in the original which cannot be given in the translation. ' Die 
welschen alle,' &c, which word in classical German means the Italians alone ; but in its 
first sense, and at- present in the vulgar use of the word, it signifies foreigners in gene- 
ral. Our word wallnuts, I suppose, means outlandish nuts— Wallie nuces, in German 
1 Welsch niisse.'— T. 



484 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

— %- 

Goetz. (to Tiefenbach.) 
Noble brother ! [making the usual compliment after meals. 

TlEFENBACH. 

Ay ! 'twas a royal feast indeed. 

Goetz. 

Yes, my Lady Countess understands these matters. Her 
mother-in-law, heaven rest her soul, taught her ! — Ah ! that was 
a housewife for you. 

TlEFENBACH. 

There was not her like in all Bohemia for settlr^; cut a table. 

Octavio. (aside to Maraclas.) 

Do me the favor to talk to me — talk of what you will — or of 

nothing. Only preserve the appearance at least of talking. I 

would not wish to stand up my myself, and yet I conjecture that 

there will be goings on here worthy of our attentive observation. 

[He continues to fix his eye on the whole following scene. 

Isolani {on the point of going.) 
Lights, lights ! 

Tertsky. (advances with the paper to Isolani.) 
Noble brother! two minutes longer ! here is something to sub- 
scribe. 

Isolani. 
Subscribe as much as you like — but you must excuse me from 
reading it. 

Tertsky. 
There is no need. It is the oath which you have already read. 
-Only a few marks of your pen ! 

[Isolani hands over the paper to Octavio respectfully, 

Tertsky. 
Nay, nay, first come first served. There is no precedence here- 
[Octavio runs over the paper with apparent indifference. 
Tertsky watches him at some distance. 

Goetz. {to Tertsky.) 
Noble Count ! with your permission — Good night. 

Tertsky. 
Where's the hurry ? Come, one other composing draught— 
[To the servants.) — Ilo ! 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 4^5 



GOETZ. 

Excuse me — an't able. 

Tertsky. 
A thimble-full ! 

GOETZ. 

iSxcuse me. 

Tiefenbach. {sits down.) 
Pardon me, nobles. — This standing does not agree with mo, 

Tertsky. 
Consult only your own convenience, General. 

TlEFENBACH. 

Clear at head, sound in stomach — only my legs won't carry me 
any longer. 

Isolani. (pointing at his corpulence.) 
Poor legs ! how should they ? Such an unmerciful load ! 

[Octavio subscribes his name, and reaches over the paper 
to Tertsky, zoho gives it to Isolani ; and he goes to the 
table to sign his name. 

TlEFENBACH. 

'Twas that war in Pomerania that first brought it on. Out in 
all weathers — ice and snow — no help for it. — I shall never get the 
better of it all the days of my life. 

Goetz. 
Why, in simple verity, your Swede makes no nice inquiries 
about the season. 

Tertsky. {observing Isolani, whose hand trembles excessively, so 
that he can scarcely direct his pen.) 
Have you had that ugly complaint long, noble brother ? — 
Despatch it. 

Isolani. 
The sins of youth ! I have already tried the Chalybeate waters. 
Well — I must bear it. 

[Tertsky gives the pager to Maradas ; he steps to the table 
to subscribe. 

Octavio. (advancing to Butler.) 
You are not over-fond of the orgies of Bacchus, Colonel. I have 
observed it. You would, I think, find yourself more to your liking 
in the uproar of a battle, than of a feast. 



436 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Butler. 
I must confess, 'tis not in my way. 

Octavio, {stepping nearer to Mm friendlily .) 

Nor in mine either, I can assure you ; and I'm not a little 
glad, my much-honored Colonel Butler, that we agree so well ii] 
Dur opinions. A half-dozen good friends at most, at a small round 
table, a glass of genuine Tokay, open hearts, and a rational con» 
versation — that's my taste ! 

Butler. 
And mine too, when it can be had. 

[The paper comes to Tiefenbach, who glances over it otthe 
same time with Goetz and Kolatto. Maradas in the 
mean time returns to Octavio. All this takes place, the 
conversation with Butler proceeding uninterrupted. 

Octavio. (introducing Maradas to Butler.) 

Don Balthasar Maradas ! likewise a man of our stamp, and 
«'ong ago your admirer. [Butler bows. 

Octavio. [continuing.) 
You are a stranger here — 'twas but yesterday you arrived ; — 
you are ignorant of the ways and means here. 'Tis a wretched 
place — I know, at our age, one loves to be snug and quiet — What 
if you moved your lodgings ? — Come, be my visitor. (Butler makes 
a low bow.) Nay, without compliment ! — For a friend like you, 
I have still a corner remaining. 

Butler, (coldly.) 
Your obliged humble servant, my Lord Lieutenant-General. 
[The paper comes to Butler, who goes to the table to sub- 
scribe it. The front of the stage is vacant, so that both 
the Piccolominis, each on the side where he had been 
from the commencement of the scene, remain alone. 

Octavio. (After having some time watched his son in silence, a& 
vances somewhat nearer to him.) 
You were long absent from us, friend ! 

Max. 
I urgent business detained me. 

Octavio. 
And, I observe, you are still absent I 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 4&7 



Max. 
You know this crowd and bustle always make me silent. 

Octavio. {advancing still nearer.) 
"May I be permitted to ask what the business was that detained 
you ? — Tertsky knows it without asking ! 

Max. 

What does Tertsky know ? 

Octavio. 
He was the only one who did not miss you. 

Isolani. (who has been attending to them from some distance, 

steps up.) 
Well done, father ! Rout out his baggage ! Beat up his quar- 
ters ! There is something there that should not be. 

Tertsky. {with the' paper.) 
Is there none wanting ? Have the whole subscribed ? 

Octavio. 
All. 

Tertsky. (calling aloud.) 
Ho ! who subscribes ? 

Butler, {to Tertsky.) 
Count the names. There ought to be just thirty. 

Tertsky. 



Here is a cross. 
That's my mark. 



TlEFENBACH. 



Isolani. 
He cannot write ; but his cross is a good cross, and is honored 
\ry Jews as well as Christians. 

Octavio. (presses on to Max.) 
Come, General ; let us go. It is late. 

Tertsky. 
One Piccolomini only has signed. 

.Isolani. (pointing to Max.) 
Look ! that is your man, that statue there, who has had neither 
eye, ear, nor tongue for us the whole evening. 

[Max receives the paper from Tertsky, which he looks upon 
vacantly. 



*8S COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

• — ■ — — — — — — i 

SCENE XIV. 

[To these enter Illo from the inner room. He has in liis hand the 
golden service-cap, and is extremely distempered with drinking. 
Goetz and Butler follow him, endeavoring to keep him back.) 

Illo. 
What do you want ? Let me go. 

Goetz and Butler. 
Drink no more, Illo ! For heaven's sake, drink no more. 

Illo. (goes up to Octavio, and shakes him cordially by the hand, 
and then drinks.) 
Octavio ! I bring this to you ! Let all grudge be drowned in 
this friendly bowl ! I know well enough, ye never loved me — 
Devil take me ! — and I never loved you ! — I am always even with 
people in that way ! — Let what's past be past — that is, you under- 
stand — forgotten ! I esteem you infinitely. (Embracing him re* 
peatedly.) You have not a dearer friend on earth than I — but 
that you know. The fellow that cries rogue to you, calls me 
villain — and I'll strangle him ! — my dear friend ! 

Tertsky. (whispering to him.) 
Art in thy senses ? For heaven's sake, Illo I think where you 
are. 

Illo. (aloud.) 
What do you mean ? — There are none but friends here, are 
there ? (Looks round the whole circle with a jolly and triumph- 
ant air.) Not a sneaker among us, thank heaven ! 

Tertsky. (to Butler, eagerly.) 
Take him off with you, force him off, I entreat you, Butler I 

Butler, (to Tllo.) 
Field-Marshal ! a word with you. [Leads him to the side-board* 

Illo. (cordially.) 
A thousand for one 1 Fill — Fill it once more up to the brim.— 
To this gallant man's health ! 

Isolani. (to Max, who all the while has been staring on the paper 
with fixed but vacant eyes.) 
Slow and sure, my noble brother ! — Hast parsed it all yet ?— ■ 
Some words yet to go thro' ? — 11a ?— 



THE PICC0L0MIN7. 4 8 9 



Max. {waking as from a dream.) 
What am I to do ? 

Tertsky. {and at the same time Isolani.) 
Sign your name. 

[Octavio directs his eyes on him with intense anxiety. 

Max. (returns the paper.) 
Let it stay till to-morrow. It is business — to-day I am not 
sufficiently collected. Send it to me to-morrow. 

Tertsky. 
Nay, collect yourself a little. 

Isolani. 

Awake, man ! awake ! — Come, thy signature, and have done 
with it ! AVhat? Thou art the youngest in the whole company, 
and wouldst be wiser than all of us together ? Look there ! thy 
father has signed — we have all signed. 

Tertsky. [to Octavio.) 
Use your influence. Instruct him. 

Octavio. 
My son is at the age of discretion. 

Illo. (leaves the service-cup on the sideboard.) 
What's the dispute ? 

Tertsky. 
He declines subscribing the paper. 

Max. 
I say, it may as well stay till to-morrow. 

Illo. 

It cannot stay. We have all subscribed to it— and so must 
you. — You must subscribe. 

Max. 

Illo, good-night. 

Illo. 
No !.— You come not oil so. The Duke shall learn who are hist 
friends. [All collect round Illo and Max* 



49° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Max. 
What my sentiments are towards the Duke, the Duke knows, 
every one knows — what need of this wild stuff ? 

Illo. 
This is the thanks the Duke gets for his partiality to Italians 
and foreigners. — Us Bohemians he holds for little better thar 
dullards — nothing pleases him but what's outlandish. 

Tertsky. (in extreme embarrassment, to the commanders, who tr$ 
Illo's words gave a sudden start, as preparing to resent them. 
It is the wine that speaks and not his reason. Attend not to 
him, I entreat you. 

Isolani. {with a bitter laugh.) 
Wine invents nothing : it only tattles. 

Illo. 
He who is not with me is against me. Your tender consciences I 
Unless they can slip out by a back-door, by a puny proviso ! 

Tertsky. {interrupting him.) 
He is stark mad — don't listen to him. 

Illo. {raising his voice to the highest pitch?) 
Unless they can slip out by a proviso. — What of the proviso ? 
The devil take this proviso ! 

Max. (has ?iis attention roused, and looks again into the paper.) 
What is there here then of such perilous import ? You make 
me curious — I must look closer at it. 

Tertsky. (in a loio voice to Illo.) 
What are you doing Illo ? You are ruining us. 

TlEFENBACH. (to Kolatto.) 

Ay, ay ! I observed, that before we sat down to supper, it was 
read differently. 

Goetz. 
Why, I seemed to think so too. 

ISOLANI. 

What do I care for that ! Where there stand other names 
mine can stand too. 

TlEFENBACH. 

Before supper there was a certain proviso therein, or short 
clause concerning our duties to the Emperor. 



THE PWCOLOMINL 49* 



Butlkr. {to one of the commanders^) 
For shame, for shame ! Bethink you. What is the main busi- 
ness here*? The question now is, whether we shall keep our 
general, or let him retire. One must not take these things too 
uicely and over-scrupulously. 

Isolani. {to one Of the generals.) 
Did the Duke make any of these provisos when he gave 
your regiment ? 

Tertsky. (to Goetz.) 
Or when he gave you the office of army-purveyancer, which 
brings you in yearly a thousand pistoles. 

Illo. 
He is a rascal who makes us out to be rogues. If there be any 
one that wants satisfaction, let him say so. I am his man. 

Tie FEN BACH. 
Softly, softly ! 'Twas but a word or two. 

Max. {having read the paper gives it back.) 
Till to-morrow, therefore ! 

Illo. {stammering with rage and fury, loses all command over 
himself, and presents the paper to Max. with one hand, and 
his stvord in the other.) 
Subscri be — J u das ! 

Isolani. 
Out upon you, Illo! ■ 

Octavio, Tertsky, Butler, (all together.) 
Down with the sword. 

Max. (rushes on him suddenly and disarms him, then to Count 

Tertsky.) 
Take him off to bed. 

[Max. leaves the stage. Illo cursing and raving is held 
back by some of the officers, and amidst a universal con,' 
fusion the curtain drops. 



i9 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

ACT III. 

Scene, a chamber in Piccotomin? 's Mansion. — It is Night. 

SCENE I. 

Octavio Piccolomtni. A Valet de Chambre, with Lights. 

OCTAVIO. 

And when my son comes in, conduct him hither. 

What is the hour ? 

Valet. 
'Tis on the point of morning. 
Octavio. 
Set down the light. We mean not to undress. 
You may retire to sleep. 

[Exit Valet. Octavio paces, musing, across the chamber. 
Max. Piccolomini enters unobserved, and looks at his 
father for some moments in silence. 

Max. 

Art thon offended with me ? Heaven knows 

That odious business was no fault of mine. 

'Tis true, indeed, I saw thy signature. 

What thou hadst sanctioned should not, it might seem, 

Have come amiss to me. But — 'tis my nature — 

Thou know'st, that in such matters I must follow 

My own light, not another's. 

Octavio. {goes up to him, and embraces him.) 
Follow it, 
O follow it still further, my best son ! 
To-night, dear boy ! it hath more faithfully 
Guided thee than th' example of thy father. 

Max. 
Declare thyself less darkly. 

Octavio. 

I will do so. 
For after what has taken place this night, 
There must remain no secrets 'twixt us two. 



Max. Piccolomini ; what think'st thou of 
The oath that was sent round for signatures ? 



[Both seat themselves 



1 



THE PICCOLO MINT. 493 

Max. 
T hold it for a thing of harmless import, 
Although I like not these set declarations. 

OCTAVIO. 

And on no other ground hast thou refused 
The signature they fain had wrested from thee? 

Max. 

It was a serious business 1 was absent— 

The affair itself seemed not so urgent to me. 

Octavio. 
Be open, Max. Thou hadst then no suspicion ? 

Max. 
Suspicion! what suspicion ? Not the least. 

Octavio. 
Thank thy good angel, Piccolomini ; 
He drew thee back unconscious from the abyss. 

Max. 
I know not what thou meanest. 
Octavio. 

I will tell thee. 
Fain would they have extorted from thee, son, 
The sanction of thy name to villany ; 
Yea, with a single flourish of thy pen, 
Made thee renounce thy duty and thy honor ! 

Max. (rises.) 
Octavio ! 

Octavio. 
Patience ! Seat yourself. Much 3 T et 
Hast thou to learn from me, friend ! — hast for years 
Lived in incomprehensible illlusion. 
Before thine eyes is treason drawing out 
As black a web as e'er was spun from venom : 
A power of hell o'erclouds thy understanding. 
I dare no longer stand in silence — dare 
No longer see thee wandering on in darkness, 
Nor pluck the bandage from thine eyes. 

Max. 

My father ! 
Yet, ere thou speak'st, a moment's pause of thought. 



494 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



If your disclosures should appear to be 
Conjectures only — and almost I fear 
They will be nothing; further — spare them! I 
Am not in that collected mood at present, 
That I could listen to them quietly. 

OCTAVIO. 

The deeper cause thou hast to hate this life, 

The more impatient cause have I, my son, 

To force it on thee. To the innocence 

And wisdom of thy heart I could have trusted thee 

With calm assurance — but I see the net 

Preparing— and it is thy heart itself 

Alarms me for thine innocence — that secret, 

{fixing his eyes steadfastly on his son's face. 
Which thou concealest, forces mine from me. 

[Max. attempts to answer, but hesitates, and casts his cye& 
to the ground embarrassed. 

Octavio. {after a pause.) 
Know, then, they are duping thee ; — a most foul game 
With thee and with us all — nay, hear me calmly — 
The Duke even now is playing. He assumes 
The mask, as if he would forsake the army j 
And in this moment makes he preparations 
That army from the Emperor — to steals 
And carry it over to the enemy ! 

Max. 

That low priest's legend I know well, but did not 
Expect to hear it from thy mouth. 

Octavio. 

That mouth, 
From which thou hear'st it at this present moment 
Doth warrant thee that it is no priest's legend. 

Max. 
How mere a maniac they suppose the Duke. 
What, he can meditate? — the Duke ?— can dream 
That he can lure away full thirty thousand 
Tried troops and true, all honorable soldiers, 
More than a thousand noblemen among them, 
From oaths, from duty, from their honor lure them, 
And make them all unanimous to do 
A deed that brands them scoundrels ? 



THE. MCCOLOMINT. 495 



OCTAVIO. 

Such a deed, 
With such a front of infamy, the Duke 
No way desires — what he requires of us 
Bears a far gentler appellation. Nothing 
He wishes, but to give the empire peace. 
And so, because the Emperor hates this peace, 
Therefore the Duke — the Duke will force him to it. 
All parts of the empire will he pacify. 
And for his trouble will retain in payment 
(What he has already in his gripe) — Bohemia! 

Max. 
Has he, Octavio, merited of us, 
That we — we should think so vilely of him ? 

Octavio. 
What we would think is not the question here. 
The affair speaks for itself — and clearest proofs ! 
Hear me, my son — 'tis not unknown to thee, 
In what ill credit with the court we stand. 
But little dost thou know or guess what tricks, 
What base intrigues, what lying artifices, 
Have been employed — for this sole end — to sow 
Mutiny in the camp ! All bands are loosed — 
Loosed all the bands that link the officer 
To his liege Emperor, all that bind the soldier 
Affectionately to the citizen. 

Lawless he stands, and threat'ningly beleaguers 
The state he % s bound to guard. To such a height 
'Tis swoln, that at this hour the Emperor 
Before his armies — his own armies — trembles ; 
Yea, in his capital, his palace, fears 
The traitors' poniards, and is meditating 

To hurry off and hide his tender offspring 

Not from the Swedes, not from the Lutherans — 
No ! from his own troops hide and hurry them ! 

Max. 
Cease, cease ! thou tortur'st, shatter'st me. I know 
That oft we tremble at an empty terror ; 
But the false phantasm brings a real misery. 

Octavio. 
It is no phantasm. An intestine war, 
Of all the most unnatural and cruel, 



49° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Will burst out into flames, if instantly 
We do not fly and stifle it. The Generals 
Are many of them long ago won over ; 
The subalterns are vacillating — whole 
Regiments and garrisons are vacillating. 
To foreigners our strong-holds are entrusted 
To that suspected Schafgotch is the whole 
Force of Silesia given up ; to Tertsky 
Five regiments, foot and horse — to Isolani, 
To Illo, Kinsky, Butler, the best troops. 



Max. 



Likewise to both of 



Octavio. 
Because the Duke 
Believes he has secured us — means to lure us 
Still further on by splendid promises. 
To me he portions forth the princedoms Glatz 
And Sagan , and too plain 1 see the angel 
With which he doubts not to catch thee. 

Max. 

No ! no l 
I tell thee — no 

Octavio. 
O open ye thine eyes ! 
And to what purpose think'st thou he has called uy 
Hither to Pilsen? To avail himself 
Of our advice ? O when did Friedland ever 
Need our advice ? Be calm, and listen to me. 
To sell ourselves are we called hither, and 
Decline we that — to be his hostages. 
Therefore doth noble Galas stand aloof ; 
Thy father, too, thou would'st not have seen here, 
If higher duties had not held him fettered. 

Max. 

Tie makes no secret of it — needs make none — 
That we're called hither for his sake — he owns it. 
lie needs our aidance to maintain himself — 
lie did so much for us ; and 'tis but fair 
That we, too, should do somewhat now for him. 

Octavio. 
And know'st thou what it is which we must do? 
That lllo's drunken mood betrayed it to thee. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 497 



Bethink thyself — what hast thou heard, what seen ? 
The counterfeited paper — the omission 
Of that particular clause, so full of meaning, 
Does it not prove that they would bind us down 
To nothing good ? 

Max. 
That counterfeited paper 
Appears to me no other than a trick 
Of Illo's own device. These underhand 
Traders in great men's interests, ever use 
To urge and hurry all things to the extreme. 
They see the Duke at variance with the Court, 
And fondly think to serve him, when they widen 
The breach irreparably. Trust me, father, 
The Duke knows nothing of all this. 

Octavio. 

It grieves me 
That I must dash to earth, that I must shatter 
A faith so specious ; but I may not spare thee! 
For this is not a time for tenderness. 
Thou must take measures, speedy ones — must act. 
I therefore will confess to thee, that all 
Which I've intrusted to thee now — that all 
Which seems to thee so unbelievable, 
That — yes, I will tell thee — {a -pause) — Max., I had it all 
From his own mouth — from the Duke's mouth 1 had it. 

Max. (in excessive agitation.) 
No I — no ! — never ! 

Octavio. 
Himself confided to me 
What I, 'tis true, had long before discovered 
By other means — himself confided to me, 
That 'twas his settled plan to join the Swedes! 
And, at the head of the united armies, 

Compel the Emperor 

Max. 

He is passionate. 
The Court has stung him — he is sore all over 
With injuries and allionts ; and in a moment 
Of irritation, what if he, for once, 
Forgot himself ? lie's an impetuous man. 

Octavio. 
Nay, in cold blood, he did confess this to me; 

32 



49 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And having construed my astonishment 
Into a scruple of his power, he showed me 
His written evidences — showed me letters,. 
Both from the Saxon and the Swede, that gare 
Promises of aidance, and denned th' amount. 

Max. 
It cannot be ! — can not be ! — can not be ! 
Dost thou not see, it cannot ! 
Thou wouldest of necessity have shown him 
Such horror, such deep loathing — that or he 
Had taken thee for his better genius, or 
Thou stood'st not now a living man before me— 

Octavio. 
I have laid open my objections to him, 
Dissuaded him with pressing earnestness ; 
But my abhorrence, the full sentiment 
Of my whole heart — that I have still kept sacred 
To my own consciousness. 

Max. 

And thou hast been 
So treacherous? That looks not like my father I 
I trusted not thy words, when thou didst tell me 
Evil of him ; much less can I now do it, 
That thou calumniatestthy own self. 

Octavio. 
I did not thrust myself into his secresy. 

Max. 
Uprightness merited his confidence. 

Octavio. 
He was no longer worthy of sincerity. 

Max. 
Dissimulation, sure, was still less worthy 
Of thee, Octavio ! 

Octavio. 
Gave I him a cause 
To entertain a scruple of my honor ? 

Max. 
That he did not, evinced his confidence. 



THE PICCOLOMWL ' 499 



OCTAVIO- 
Pear son, it is not always possible 
Still to preserve that infant purity 
Which the voice teaches in our inmost heart. 
Still in alarm, for ever on the watch 
Against the wiles of wicked men, e'en Virtue 
Will sometimes bear away her outward robes 
Soiled in the wrestle with Iniquity. 
This is the curse of every evil deed, 
That, propagating still, it brings forth evil. 
I do not cheat my better soul with sophisms ; 
I but perform my orders ; the Emperor 
Pi escribes my conduct to me. Dearest boy, 
Far better were it, doubtless, if we all 
Obeyed the heart at all times ; but so doing, 
In this our present sojourn with bad men, 
We must abandon many an honest object. 
'Tis now our call to serve the Emperor, 
By what means he can best be served — the heart 
May whisper what it will — this is our call ! 

Max. 
It seems a thing appointed that to-day 
I should not comprehend, not understand thee. 
The Duke, thou say'st, did honestly pour out 
His heart to thee, but for an evil purpose ; 
And thou dishonestly hast cheated him 
For a good purpose ! — Silence, I entreat thee— 
My friend thou stealest not from me — 
Let me not lose my father ? 

Octavio. (suppressing resentment.) 
As yet thou know'st not all, my son. I have 
Yet somewhat to disclose to thee. [After a pause, 

Duke Friedland 
Hath made his preparations. He relies 
Upon his stars. He deems us unprovided, 
And thinks to fall upon us by surprise. 
Yea, in his dream of hope, he grasps already 
The golden circle in his hand. He errs. 
We too have been in action — he but grasps 
His evil fate, most evil, most mysterious ! 

Max. 
O nothing rash, my sire. By all that's good 
Let me invoke thee — no precipitation 1 



$66 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

OCTAVIO. 

With light rtead stole he on his evil way, 
And light of tread hath Vengeance stole on after him. 
Unseen she stands already, dark behind him — 
But one step more — he shudders in her grasp ! 
Thou hast seen Questenberg with me. As yet 
Thou know'st but his ostensible commission — 
He brought with him a private one, my son, 
And that was for me only. 

Max. 
May I know it ? 

Octavio. {seizes the patent.) 

Max ! [A pause. 
-In this disclosure place I in thy hands 



The Empire's welfare and thy father's life. 
Dear to thy inmost heart is Wallenstein : 
A powerful tie of love, of veneration, 
Hath knit thee to him from thy earliest youth. 
Thou nourishest the wish — O let me still 
Anticipate thy loitering confidence ! 
The hope thou nourishest to knit thyself 
Yet closer to him 

Max. 

Father 



Octavio. 

O my son ! 
I trust thy heart undoubtingly. But am I 
Equally sure of thy collectedness ? 
Wilt thou be able, with calm countenance, 
To enter this man's presence, when that I 
Have trusted to the his whole fate ? 

Max. 

According 
As thou dost trust me, father, with his crime. 

[Octavio takes a paper out of his escritoire, and gives it to him. 

Max. 
What ? how ? — a full imperial patent ! 

Octavio. 

Read it. 



TtiE PICCOLOMTNl. $6] 



Max. (just glances on it.) 
Duko Friedland sentenced and condemned ! 

Octavio. 

Even so. 
Max. {throws down the paper.) 

O this is too much !— O unhappy error ! 

Octavio. 
Read on. Collect thyself. 

Max. {after he has read further with a look of affright and 
astonishment on his father.) 

Row ! what ! — Thou ! — thou ! 

Octavio. 
But for the present moment, till the King 
Of Hungary may safely join the army, ' 
Is the command assigned to me. 

Max. 

And think'st thou, 
Dost thou believe, that thou wilt tear it from him ? 
O never hope it ! — Father ! father ! father ! 
An inauspicious office is enjoined thee. 
This paper here — this ! and wilt thou enforce it? 
The mighty, in the middle of his host, 
Surrounded by his thousands, him would'st thou 
Disarm — degrade ! Thou'rt lost, both thou and all of us. 

Octavio. 
What hazard I incur thereby, I know. 
In the great hand of God I stand. The Almighty 
Will cover with his shield the imperial house, 
And shatter, in his wrath, the work of darkness. 
The Emperor hath true servants still ; and, even 
Here in the camp, there are enough brave men, 
Who for the good cause will fight gallantly. 
The faithful have been warned — the dangerous 
Are closely watched. I wait but the first step, 
And then immediately r 

Max. 

What ! on suspicion ? 
Immediately ? 



OCTAVIO. 

The Emperor is no tyrant. 
The deed alone he'll punish, not the wish. 
Th s Duke hath yet his destiny in his power. 
Let him but leave the treason uncompleted, 
He will be silently displaced from office, 
And make way to his Emperor's royal son. 
An honorable exile to his castles 
Will be a benefaction to him rather 
Than punishment. But the first open step - 

Max. 
What call'st thou such a step ? A wicked step 
Ne'er will he take : but thou might'st easily, 
Yea, thou hast done it, misinterpret him. 

Octavio. 
Nay, howsoever punishable were 
Duke Friedland's purposes, yet still the steps 
Which he hath taken openly, permit 
A mild construction. It is my intention 
To leave this paper wholly unenforced 
Till some act is committed which convicts him 
Of a high treason, without doubt or plea, 
And that shall sentence him. 

Max. 
But who the judge ? 

Octavio. 
Thyself. 

Max. 
Forever, then, this paper will lie idle. 

Octavio. 
Too soon, I fear, its powers must all be proved. 
After the counter-promise of this evening, 
It cannot be but he must deem himself 
Secure of the majority with us ; 
And of the army's general sentiment 
He hath a pleasing proof in that petition 
Which thou deliver'st to him from the regiments. 
Add this too — I have letters that the Rhinegrave 
Hath changed his route, and travels by forced marches 
To the Bohemian Forest. What this purports, 
Remains unknown ; and, to confirm suspicion, 
This night a Swedish nobleman arrived here. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 5°3 



Max. 
I have thy word. Thou'lt not proceed to action 
Before thou hast convinced me — me myself. 

Octavio. 
Is it possible ? Still, after all thou know'st, 
Canst thou believe still in his innocence ? 

Max. (with enthusiasm.) 
Thy judgment may mistake ; my heart cannot. 

[moderates his voice and manner. 
These reasons might expound thy spirit or mine, 
But they expound not Friedland — I have faith : 
For as he knits his fortunes to. the stars, 
Even so doth he resemble them in secret, 
Wonderful, still inexplicable courses ! 
Trust me, they do him wrong. All will be solved. 
These smokes, at once, will kindle into flame — 
The edges of this black and stormy cloud 
Will brighten suddenly, and we shall view 
The Unapproachable glide out in splendor. 

Octavio. 
I will await it. 

SCENE II. 

Octavio and Max. as before. To them the Valet of the Chamber. 

Octavio. 
How now, then ? 

Valet. 
A despatch is at the door. 

Octavio. 
So early ? From whom conies he then ? Who is it ? 

Valet. 
That he refused to tell me. 

Octavio. 

Lead him in : 
And, hark you — let it not transpire. 

[Exit Valet — the Cornet steps in* 
Ha ! Cornet — is it you ? and from Count Galas ? 
Grive me your letters. 



S°4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Cornet. 

The Lieutenant-general 
Trusted it not to letters. 

Octavio. 

And what is it ? 

Cornet. 

He bade me tell you — Dare I speak openly here ? 

Octavio. 
My son knows all. 

Cornet. 
We. have him. 

Octavio. 

Whom ? 
Cornet. 

Sesina. 
The old negotiator. 

Octavio. (eagerly.) 

And you have him ? 

Cornet. 
In the Bohemian Forest, Captain Mohrbrand 
Found and secured him yester-morning early : 
He was proceeding then to Regenspurg, 
And on him were despatches for the Swede. 

Octavio. 
And the despatches 

Cornet. 

The Lieutenant-general 
Sent them that instant to Vienna, and 
The prisoner with them. 

Octavio. 

This is, indeed; a tiding ! 
That fellow is a precious casket to us, 
Enclosing weighty things. — Was much found on him ? 

Cornet. 
I think, six packets, with Count Tertsky's arms. 

Octavio. 
None in the Duke's own hand 't 



THE PICCOLO MINT, 5°5 



Cornet. 



Octavio. 



Not that I know. 



And old Sesina ? 



Cornet. 
He was sorely frightened, 
When it was told him he must to Vienna. 
But the Count Altringer bade him take heart. 
Would he but make a full and free confession. 

Octavio. 
Is Altringer then with your lord ? I heard 
That he lay sick at Linz. 

Cornet. 

These three days past 
lie's with my master, the Lieutenant-general, 
At Frauemburg. Already have they sixty 
Small companies together, chosen men : 
Respectfully they greet you with assurances, 
That they are only waiting your commands. 

Octavio. 
In a few days may great events take place. 
And when must you return ? 

Cornet. 

I wait your orders. 

Octavio. 
Remain till evening. 
[Cornet signifies his assent and obeisance, and is going 

Octavio. 
No one saw you — ha ? 

Cornet. 
No living creature. Thro' the cloister wicket 
The Capuchins, as usual, let me in. 

Octavio. 
Go, rest your limbs, and keep yourself concealed. 
I hold it probable, that yet ere evening 
I shall despatch you. The development 
Of this affair approaches : ere the day, 



506 COLERIDGE'S POEMS: 

That even now is dawning in the heaven, 

Ere this eventful day hath set, the lot 

That must decide our fortunes will be drawn. [Exit Cornet* 



SCENE III. 

Octavio and Max. Piccolomtni. 

Octavio. 
Well — and what now, son ? All will soon be clear, 
For all, I'm certain, went thro' that Sesina. 
Max. {who through the whole of the foregoing scene has been in a 
violent and visible struggle of feelings, at length starts as on* 
resolved.) 

1 will procure me light a shorter way. 
Farewell. 

Octavio. 
Where now ? — Remain here. 

Max. 

To the Duke. 



Octavio. {alarmed.) 



What— 



Max. {returning.) 
If thou hast believed that I shall act 

A part in this thy play 

Thou hast miscalculated on me grievously. 

My way must be straight on. True with the tongue, 

False with the heart — I may not, cannot be : 

Nor can I suffer that a man should trust me — 

As his friend trust me — and then lull my conscience 

With such low pleas as these : — ' I asked him not — 

He did it all at his own hazard — and 

My mouth has never lied to him.' — No, no ! 

What a friend takes me for, that I must be. 

— I'll to the Duke ; ere yet this day is ended 

Will I demand of him that he do save 

His good name from the world, and with one stride 

Break through and rend this fine-spun web of yours. 

He can, he will ! — /still am his believer. 

Yet I'll not pledge myself, but that those letters 

May furnish you, perchance, with proofs against him. 



THE PlCCbZOllrWI. 507 



How far may not this Tertsky have proceeded— 

What may not he himself, too, have permitted 

Himself to do, to snare the enemy, 

The laws of war excusing ? Nothing save 

His own mouth shall convict him — nothing less I 

And face to face will I go question him. 

•Octavio. 
Thou wilt ? 

Max. 
I will, as sure as this heart beats. 

Octavio. 
I have, indeed, miscalculated on thee. 
I calculated on a prudent son, 
Who would have blest the hand beneficent 
That plucked him back from the abyss — and lo ! 
A fascinated being I discover, 

Whom his two eyes befool, whom passion wilders, 
Whom not the broadest light of noon can heal. 
Go, question him ! — Be mad enough, I pray thee. 
The purpose of thy father, of thy Emperor, 
Go, give it up free booty ! — Force me, drive me 
To an open breach before the time. And now, 
Now that a miracle of heaven had guarded 
My secret purpose even to this hour, 
And laid to sleep Suspicion's piercing eyes, 
Let me have lived to see that mine own son, 
With frantic enterprise, annihilates 
My toilsome labors and state-policy. 

Max. 
Ay — this state-policy ! O how I curse it ! 
You will some time, with your state-policy, 
Compel him to the measure : it may happen, 
Because ye are determined that he's guilty, 
Guilty ye' 11 make him. All retreat cut off, 
You close up every outlet, hem him in 
Narrower and narrower, till at length ye force him 
Yes, ye, — ye force him, in his desperation, 
To set fire to his prison. Father ! father! 1 
That never can end well — it cannot — will not 1 
And let it be decided as it may, 
I see with boding heart the near approach 
Of an ill-starred un blest catastrophe. 
For this great Monarch- spirit, if he fall, 



508 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Will drag a world into the ruin with him. 
And as a ship, that midway on the ocean 
Takes fire, at once, and with a thunder-burst, 
Explodes, and with itself shoots out its crew 
In smoke and ruin betwixt sea and heaven; 
So will he, falling, draw down in his fall 
All us, who're fixed and mortised to his fortune. 
Deem of it what thou wilt ; but pardon me, 
That I must bear me on in my own way. 
All must remain pure betwixt him and me ; 
And, ere the daylight dawns it must be known 
Which I must lose — my father or my friend. 

[During his exit the curtain drops. 



ACT IV. 



Scene — a room fitted up for astrological labors, and provided with 
celestial charts, with globes, telescopes, quadrants, and other 
mathematical instruments. — Seven colossal figures, represent- 
ing the planets, each with a transparent star of a different 
color on its head, stand in a semi-circle in the background, so 
that Mars and Saturn are nearest the eye. — The remainder of 
the scene, and its disposition, is given in the fourth scene of 
the second act. — There must be a curtain over the figures, 
which may be dropped, and conceal them on occasions. 

[In the fifth scene of this act it must be dropped: bat, in the 

seventh scene, it must be again drawn up wholly or in 

part.] 



SCENE I. 

Wallenstein at a back table, on which a speculum astrologicum 
is described with chalk. Sent, is taking observations through 
a window. 

Wallenstein. 

All well — and now let it be ended Seni. — Come, 
The dawn commences, and Mars rules the hour. 
We must give o'er the operation. Come, 
We know enough. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 509 



Seni. 
Tour Highness must permit me 
Just to contemplate Venus. She's now rising : 
Like as a sun, so shines she in the east. 

Wallenstein. 

She is at present in her perigee, 

And shoots down now her strongest influences. 

[Contemplating the figure on the table* 
Auspicious aspect — fateful in conjunction, 
At length the mighty three corradiate ; 
And the two stars of blessing, Jupiter 
And Venus, take between them the malignant 
Slily-malicious Mars, and thus compel 
Into my service that old mischief-founder : 
For long he viewed me hostilely, and ever 
With beam oblique, or perpendicular, 
Now in the quartile, now in the secundan, 
Shot his red lightnings at my stars, disturbing 
Their blessed influences and sweet aspects. 
Now they have conquered the old enemy, 
And bring him in the heavens a prisoner to me. 

Seni. {who has come down from the window.) 
And in a corner house, your highness — think of that ! 
That makes each influence of double strength. 

Wallenstein. 
And sun and moon, too, in the sextile aspect, 
The soft light with the veh'ment — so I love it. 
Sol is the heart, Luna the head of heaven. 
Bold be the plan, fiery the execution. 

Seni. x ■ 

And both the mighty lumina by no 
Maleficus affronted. Lo ! Saturnus, 
Innocuous, powerless, in cadente domo. 

Wallenstein. 
The empire of Saturnus is gone by : 
Lord of the secret birth of things is he ; 
Within the lap of earth, and in the dej^ths 
Of the imagination dominates ; 
And his are all things that eschew the light. 
The time is o'er of brooding and contrivance ; 
For Jupiter, the lustrous, lordeth now, 



510 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



And the dark work, complete of preparation, 

He draws by force into the realm of light , 

Now must we hasten on to action, ere 

The scheme and most auspicious positure 

Parts o'er my head, and takes once more its flight ; 

For the heavens journey still, and sojourn not. 

{There are knocks at the door, 
There's some one knocking there. See who it is. 

Tertsky. {from without.) 
Open, and let me in. 

Wallenstein. 
Ay — 'tis Tertsky. 
What is there of such urgence ? We are busy. 

Tertsky. {from without.) 
Lay all aside at present, I entreat you. 
It suffers iio delaying. 

Wallenstein. 
Open, Seni ! 
[While Seni opens the door for Tertsky, Wallenstein draws 
the curtain over the figures. 

Tertsky. {enters.) 
liast thou already heard it? He is taken. 
Galas has given him up to the Emperor. 

[Seni draws off the black table, and exit 

scene n: 

Wallenstein, Count Tertsky. 

Wallenstein. {to Tertsky.) 
Who has .been taken ? — Who is given up ? 

Tertsky. 
The man who knows our secrets, who knows every 
Negotiation with the Swede and Saxon, 
Thro' whose hands all and everything has passed— 

Wallenstein. {drawing back.) 
Nay, not Sesina ? — Say, No ! I entreat thee. 

Tertsky. 
Ali on his road for Regenspurg to the Swede 



THE PICCOLOMINL 5 IJ 



He was plunged down upon by Galas' agent, 

Who had been long in ambush, lurking for him. 

There must have been found on him my whole packet 

To Thur, to Kinsky, to Oxenstirn, to Arnheim : 

All this is in their hands ; they have now an insight 

into the whole — our measures, and our motives. 



SCENE III. 

To them enters Illo. 
Illo. {to Tertsky.) 

Tertsky. 
He has heard it. 



Has he heard it ? 



Illo. {to Wallen stein.) 

Think'st thou still 
To make thy peace with the Emp'ror, to regain 
His confidence ? — E'en were it now thy wish 
To abandon all thy plans, yet still they know 
What thou hast wished ; then forward thou must press ; 
Retreat is now no longer in thy power. 

Tertsky. 
They have documents against us, and in hands, 
Which showed beyond all power of contradiction — 

Wallenstein. 
Of my hand-writing — no iota. Thee 
I punish for thy lies. 

Illo. 
And thou believ'st 
That what this man, that what thy sister's husband 
Did in thy name, will not stand on thy reckoning ? 
His word must pass for thy word with the Swede, 
And not with those that hate thee at Vienna, 

Tertsky. 
In writing thou gav'st nothing — but bethink thee, 
How far thou ventured'st by woid of mouth 
With this Sesina ? And will he be silent ? 
If he can save himself by yielding up 
Thy secret purposes, will he retain them ? 



5 1 2 COLERIDGE S S POEMS. 

Illo. 
Thyself dost not conceive it possible ; 
And since they now have evidence authentic 
How far thou hast already pone, speak ! — tell us, 
What art thou waiting for ? Thou canst no longer 
Keep thy command ; and beyond hope of rescue 
Thou'rt lost, if thou resign'st it. 

Wallenstein. 

In the army 
Lies my security. The army will not 
Abandon me. Whatever they may know, 
The power is mine, and they must gulp it down — 
And substitute I caution for my fealty ; 
They must be satisfied, at least appear so. 

Illo. 
The army, Duke, is thine now — for this moment — 
'Tis thine : but think with terror on the slow, 
The quiet power of time. From open vi'lence 
The attachment of thy soldiery secures thee 
To-day — to-morrow ; but grant'st thou them- a respite, 
Unheard, unseen, they'll undermine that love 
On which thou now dost feel so firm a footing, 
With wily theft will draw away from thee 
One after th' other 

Wallenstein. 

'Tis a cursed accident ! 

Illo. 
O I will call it a most blessed one 
If it work on thee as it ought to do, • 
Hurry thee on to action — to decision — 
The Swedish General 

Wallenstein. 
He's arrived ! — know'st thou 
What his commission is 

Illo. 
To thee alone 
Will he intrust the purpose of his coming. 

Wallenstein. 
A cursed, cursed accident! — Yes, yes, 
Seisna knows too much, and wont be silent. 



THE PICCOLOMINl. 513 



Tertsky. 
He's a Bohemian fugitive and rebel, 
His neck is forfeit. Can he save himself . 
At thy cost, think you he will scruple it ? 
And if they put him to the torture, will he, 
Will he, that dastardling have strength enough — 

Wallenstein. (lost in thought.) 
Their confidence is lost — irreparable ! 
And I may act what way I will, I shall 
Be and remain for ever in their thought 
A traitor to my country. How sincerely 
Soever I return back to my duty, 
It will no longer help me 

Illo. 

Ruin thee, 
Tha.t it will do ! Not thy fidelity, 
Thy weakness will be deemed the sole occasion — 

Wallenstein. (pacing up and down in extreme agitation.) 
What ! I must realize it now in earnest, 
Because I toyed too freeh "ith the thought? 
Accursed he who dallies witn a devil ! 
And must I — I must realize it now — 
Now, while I have the power, it must take place ? 

Illo. 
Now — now — ere they can ward and parry it ! 

Wallensteln. (looking at the paper of signatures.') 
I have the Generals' words — a written promise ! 
Max. Piccolomini stands not here — how's that I 

Tertsky. 

It was he fancied 

Illo. 
Mere self-willedness. 
There needed no such thing 'twixt him and you. 

Wallenstein. 
Hp is quite right — there needeth no such thing. 
Th e regiments, too, deny to march for Flanders- 
Have sent me in a paper of remonstrance, 
And openly resist the imperial orders. 
Tne fiiist step to revolt's already taken. 

33 



5 1 4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Illo. 

Believe me, thou wilt find it far more easy 
To lead them over to the enemy 
Than to the Spaniard. 

Wallenstein. 

I will hear, however, 
What the Swede has to say to me. 

Illo. {eagerly to Tertsky.} 

Go, call him 2 
He stands without the door in waiting. 

Wallenstein. 

Stay ! 
Stay yet a little. It hath taken me 
All by surprise, — it came too quick upon me ; 
'Tis wholly novel that an accident, 
With its dark lordship, and blind agency, 
Shall force me on with it. 

Illo. 

First hear him only, 
And after weigh it. [Exeunt Tertsky and Illo 



SCENE IV. 



Wallenstein. (in soliloquy.) 

Is it possible ? 
Is't so? I can no longer what I would f 
No longer draw back at my liking? I 
Must do the deed because I thought of it. 
And fed this heart here with a dream? Because 
I did not scowl temptation from my presence, 
Dallied with thoughts of possible fulfilment, 
Commenced no movement, left all time uncertain, 
And only kept the road, the access open ? 
By the great God of Heaven ! it was not 
My serious meaning, it was ne'er resolve. 
I but amused myself with thinking of it. 



The free-will tempted me, the power to do 

Or not to do it. — Was it criminal 

To make the fancy minister to hope, 

To fill the air with pretty toys of air, 

And clutch fantastic sceptres moving towards me ? 

Was not the will kept free ? Beheld I not 

The road of duty close beside me — but 

One little step, and once more I was in it ! 

Where am I ? Whither have I been transported ? 

No road, no track behind me, but a wall, 

Impenetrable, insurmountable, 

Rises obedient to the spells I muttered 

And meant not-— my own doings tower behind me. 

[Pauses and remains in deep thought 
A punishable man I seem, the guilt, 
Try what I will, I cannot roll off from me ; 
The equivocal demeanor of my life 
Bears witness on my prosecutor's party ; 
And even my purest acts from purest motives 
Suspicion poisons with malicious gloss. 
Were 1 that thing for which I pass, that traitor, 
A goodly outside I had sure reserved, 
Had drawn the covering thick and double round me, 
Been calm and chary of my utterance. 
But being conscious of the innocence 
Of my intent, my uncorrupted will, 
I gave way to my humors, to my passion : 
Bold were my words, because my deeds were not. 
Now every planless measure, chance event, 
The threat of rage, the vaunt of joy and triumph, 
And all the May-games of a heart o'erfiowing, 
Will they connect, and weave them all together 
Into one web of treason : all will be plain, 
My eye ne'er absent from the far-off mark, 
Step tracing step, each step a politic progress ; 
And out of all they'll fabricate a charge 
So specious, that 1 must myself stand dumb. 
I'm caught in my own net, and only force. 

Nought but a sudden rent, can liberate me. [Pauses ayaitu 

How else ! since that the heart's unbiassed instinct 
Impelled me to the daring deed, which now 
Necessity, self-perservation, orders. 
Stern is the on-look of necessity, 
Not without shudder may a human hand 
Grasp the mysterious urn of destiny. 
Ddy deed was mine, remaining in my bosom. 



Once suffered to escape from its safe corner 
Within the heart, its nursery and birth-place, 
Sent forth into the foreign, it belongs 
Fer ever to those sly malicious powers 
Whom never art of man conciliated. 

[Paces in agitation through the chamber, then pauses, and 
after the pause, breaks out again into audible soliloquy. 
What is thy enterprise ? thy aim ? thy object ? 
Hast honestly confessed it to thyself ? 
Power seated on a quiet throne thou'dst shake, 
Power-on an ancient consecrated throne, 
Strong in possession, founded in old custom ; 
Power by a thousand tough and stringy roots 
Fixed to the people's pious nursery-faith. 
This, this will be no strife of strength with strength. 
That feared I not. I brave each combatant, 
Whom I can look on, fixing eye to eye, 
Who full himself of courage kindles courage 
In me too. 'Tis a foe invisible 
The which I fear — a fearful enemy, 
Which in the human heart opposes me, 
By its coward fear alone made fearful to me. 
Not that, which full of life, instinct with power, 
Makes known its present being, that is not 
The true, the perilously formidable. 
O no ! it is the common, the quite common, 
The thing of an eternal yesterday. 
What ever was, and ever more returns, 
Sterling to morrow, for to-day 'twas sterling ! 
For of the wholly common is man made, 
And custom is his nurse ! Woe then to them, 
Who lay irreverent hands upon his old 
House furniture, the dear inheritance 
From his forefathers. For time consecrates ; 
And what is gray with age becomes religion. 
Be in possession, and thou hast the right, 
And sacred will the many guard it for thee ! 

[To the Page who here enters, 
The Swedish officer ?— Well, let him enter. 

[The Page exit, Wallenstein fixes his eye in deep thought on 
the door. 
Yet is it pure— as yet ! — the crime has come 
Not o'er this threshold yet — so slender is 
The boundary that divideth life's two paths. 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 5 T 7 



SCENE V. 

Wallenstein and Wraxgel. 

Wallenstein. {after having fixed a searching look on him*) 

Vour name is Wrangel ? 

Wrangel. 

Gustavus Wrangle, General 
Of the Sudermanian blues. 

Wallenstein. 

It was a Wrangel 
Who injured me materially at Stralsund, 
And by his brave resistance was the cause 
Of th' opposition which that sea-port made. 

Wrangel. 
It was the doing of the element 

With which you fought, my Lord ! and not my merit. 
The Baltic Neptune did assert his freedom ; 
The sea and land, it seemed, were not to serve 
One and the same. 

Wallenstein. {makes a motion for him to take a seat, and seats 

himself.) 

And where are your credentials ? 
Come you provided with full powers, Sir General ? 

Wrangel. 
There are so many scruples yet to solve 



Wallenstein. {having read the credentials.) 
An able letter ! — Ay — he is a prudent, 
Intelligent master, whom you serve, Sir General ! 
The Chancellor writes me, that he but fulfils 
His late departed Sovereign's own idea 
[n helping me to the Bohemian crown. 

Wrangel. 

He says the truth. Our great King, now in heaven, 

Did ever deem most highly of your Grace's 

Pre-eminent sense and military genius ; 

And always the commanding intellect, 

He said, should have command, and be the King. 



5 1 8 COLERfDGE \S POEMS. 



"Wallenstein 
Yes, ho might say it safely. — General Wrangel, 

[taking his hand affectionately. 
Come, fair and open. Trust me, I was always 
A Swede at heart. Ey ! that did you experience 
Both in Silesia and at Nuremburg ; 
I had you often in my power, and let you 
Always slip out by some back door or other. 
'Tis this for which the court can ne'er forgive me, 
Which drives me to this present step : and since 
Our interests so run in one direction, 
E'en let us have a thorough confidence 
Each in the other. 

Wrangrl. 
Confidence will come, 
Has each but only first security. 

Wallenstein. 
The Chancellor still, I see, does not quite trust me, 
And I confess — the game does not lie wholly 
To my advantage — Without doubt he thinks 
If I can play false with the Emperor, 
Who is my Sov'reign, I can do the like 
With the enemy, and that the one, too, were 
Sooner to be forgiven me than the other. 
Is not this your opinion too, Sir General ? 

Wrangel. 
I have here an office merely, no opinion. 

Wallenstein. 
The Emperor hath urged me to the uttermost. 
I can no longer honorably serve him. 
For my security in self-defence, 
I take this hard step which my conscience blames. 

Wrangel. 
That I believe. So far would no one go 
Who was not forced to it. [After apause 

What may have impelled 
Your princely Highness in this wise to act 
Toward your Sovereign Lord and Emperor, 
Beseems not us to expound or criticise. 
The Swede is fighting for his good old cause, 
With his good sword and conscience. This concurrence, 
This opportunity, is in our favor f 



THE riC^OLOMlNl. 5 10, 



And all advantages in war are lawful. 
We take what oilers without questioning ; 
And if all have its due and just proportions 

Wallenstein. 
Of what then are ye doubting ? Of my will ? 
Or of my power ? I pledged me to the Chancellor, 
Would he trust me with sixteen thousand men, 
That I would instantly go over to them 
With eighteen thousand of the Emperor's troops. 

Wr angel. 
Your Grace is known to be a mighty war-chief, 
To be a second Attila and Pyrrhus. 
'Tis talked of still with fresh astonishment, 
How some years past, beyond^all human faith, 
You called an army forth, like a creation : 

But yet 

Wallenstein. 
But yet ? 

Wraxgkl. 

But still the Chancellor thinks, 
It might yet be an easier thing from nothing 
To call forth sixty-thousand men of battle, 
Than to persuade one sixtieth part of them — 

Wallenstein. 
Who,t now i Out with it, friend ! 

Wrangel. 

To break their oaths. 

Wallenstein. 
And he thinks so ? He judges like a Swede, 
And like a Protestant. You Lutherans 
Fight for your Bible. You are int' rested 
About the cause ; and with your hearts you follow 
Your banners. — Among you, whoe'er deserts 
To the enemy, hath broken covenant 
With two Lords at one time. — We've no such fancies. 

Wrangel. 
Great God in Heaven ! Have then the people here 
No house and home, no fire-side, no altar ? 

Wallenstein. 
[ will explain that to you, how it stands - 



The Austrian has a country, ay, and loves it, 
And has good cause to love it — but this army 
That calls itself th' Imperial, this that houses 
Here in Bohemia, this has none — no country ; 
This is an outcast of all foreign lands, 
Unclaimed by town or tribe, to whom belongs 
Nothing, except the universal sun. 

Wrangel. 
But then the nobles and the officers ? 
Such a desertion, such a felony, 
It is without example, my Lord Duke, 
In the world's history. 

Wallenstein. 

They aM are mine- 
Mine unconditionally — mine on all terms. 
Not me, your own eyes you may trust. 
[He gives him the paper containing the written oath. Wr an- 
gel reads it through, and having read it, lays it on the 
table remaining silent. 

So then ? 
Now Comprehend you ? 

Wrangel. 

Comprehend, who can? 
My Lord Duke ! I will let the mask drop — yes ! 
I've full powers for a final settlement, 
The Rhinegrave stands but four days' march from here 
With fifteen thousand men, and only waits 
For orders to proceed and join your army. 
These orders 1 give out, immediately 
We're compromised. 

Wallenstein. 
What asks the Chancellor ? 
Wrangel. {considerately. ) 
Twelve regiments, every man a Swede — my head 
The warranty — and all might prove at last 
Only false play 

Wallenstein. {starting.) 
iSir Swede ! 
Wrangel. {calmly proceeding.) • 

Am therefore forced 
T' insist thereon, that he do formally, 



THE PICCOLOMINL 521 

Irrevocably break with th' Emperor, 

Else not a Swede is trusted to Duke Friedland. 

W ALLEN STEIN. 

Come, brief and open ! what is the demand? 

Wrangel. 
That he forthwith disarm the Spanish reg'ments 
Attached to th' Emperor, that he seize Prague, 
And to the Swedes give up that city, with 
The strong pass Egra. 

Wallenstein. 

That is much indeed ! 
Prague ! — Egra's granted — But — but Prague !— 'Twon't do. 
I give you every security 

Which you may ask of me in common reason — 
But Prague — Bohemia — these, Sir General, 
I can myself protect. 

Wrangel. 
We doubt it not. 
But 'tis not the protection that is now 
Our sole concern. We want security, 
That we shall not expend our men and money 
All to no purpose. 

Wallenstein. 
'Tis but reasonable. 

Wrangel. 
And till we are indemnified, so long 
Stays Prague in pledge. 

Wallenstein. 

Then trust you us so little ? 

Wrangel. {rising.) 
The Swede, if he would treat well with the German, 
Must keep a sharp look-out. We have been called 
Over the Baltic, we have saved the empire 
Prom ruin — with our best blood have we sealed 
The liberty of faith, and gospel truth. 
But now already is the benefaction 

No longer felt, the load alone is felt • 

Ye look askance with evil eye upon us, 
As foreigners, intruders in the empire, 



<? 2 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And would fain send us, with some paltry sum 
Of money, home again to our old forests. 
No, no ! my Lord Duke ! no ! — it -never was 
For Judas' pay, for chinking gold and silver, 
That we did leave our King by the Great Stone.* 
No, not for gold and silver have there bled 
So many of our Swedish nobles — neither 
Will we, with empty laurels for our payment, 
Hoist sail for our own country. Citizens 
Will we remain upon the soil, the which 
Our monarch conquered for himself, and died. 

Wallenstein. 
Help to keep down the common enemy, 
And the fair border land must needs be yours. « 

Wrangel. 
But when the common enemy lies vanquished, 
Who knits together our new friendship then ! 
We know, Duke Friedland ! though perhaps the Swede 
Ought not t' have known it, that you carry on 
Secret negotiations with the Saxons. 
Who is our warranty, that we are not 
The sacrifices in those articles 
Which 'tis though* needful to conceal from us? 

W ALLENSTEI N . ( TISeS . ) 

Think you of something better, Gustave Wrangel I 
Of Prague no more. 

WrAngel. 

Here my commission ends. 

Wallenstein. 
Surrender up to you my capital ! 
Far livelier would I face about, and step 
Back to my Emperor. 

Wrangel. 

If time yet permits— 

Wallenstein. 
That lies with me, even now, at any hour. 

Wrangel. 
Some days ago, perhaps. To-day, no longer ; 

*" A great stone near Liitzen, since called the Swede's Stone, the body of their great 
king having been found at the foot of it, after the battle in w hich he lost his life. 



the piccolo Arnvr. %r 



No longer since Sesina's been a prisoner. 

. [ Wallenstein is struck, and silenced* 
My Lord Duke, hear me — We believe that you 
At present do mean honorably by us. 
Since yesterday we're sure of that — and now 
This paper warrants for the troops, there's nothing 
Stands in the way of our full confidence. 
Prague shall not part us. Hear ! The Chancellor 
Contents himself with Albstadt ; to your Grace 
lie gives up Ratschin and the narrow side, 
But Egra, above all, must open to us, 
Ere we can think of any junction. 

Wallenstein. 

You, 
You therefore must I trust, and you not iue ? 
I will consider of your proposition. 

Wrangel. 
I must entreat that your consideration \ 

Occupy not too long a time. Already 
Has this negotiation, my Lord Duke ! 
Crept on into the second year. If nothing 
Is settled this time, Avill the Chancellor 
Consider it as broken off for ever. 

Wallenstein. 
Ye press me hard. A measure, such as this, 
Ought to be thought of. 

Wrangel. 

Ay ! but think of this too, 
That sudden action only can procure it 
Success— think first of this, your Highness. [Exit Wrange J 

SCENE VI. 

Wallenstein, Tertsky and Illo (re-enter), 

Illo. 
Is't all right ? 

Tertsky. 
Are you compromised ? 

Illo. 

This Swede 
Went smiling from you. Yes ! you're compromised. 



5^4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 
As yet is nothing settled : and (well weighed) 
I feel myself inclined to leave it so. 

Tertsky. 
How? What is that? 

Wallenstein. 

Come on me what will come, 
The doing evil to avoid an evil 
Cannot be good ! 

Tertsky. 
Nay, but bethink you, Duke ? 

Wallenstein. 
To live upon the mercy of these Swedes ! 
Of these proud-hearted Swedes ! I could not bear it. 

Illo. 
Goest thou as fugitive, as mendicant ? 
Bring'st thou not more to them than thou receiv'st ? 



SCENE VII. 

To these enter the Countess Tertsky. 

Wallenstein. 
Who sent for you ? There is no business here 
For women. 

Countess. 
I am come to bid you joy. 

Wallenstein. 
Use thy authority, Tertsky, bid her go. 

Countess. 
Come I perhaps too early ? I hope not. 

Wallenstein. 
Set not this tongue upon me, I entreat you, 
You know it is the weapon that destroys me, 
I am routed, if a woman but attack me. 
I cannot traffic in the trade of words 
With that unreasoning sex. 



THE PTCCOLOMTNT. 525 



Countess. 

I had already 
Given the Bohemians a king. 

Wallenstein. {sarcastically.) 

They have one, 
In consequence, no doubt. 

Countess, {to the others.) 

Ha ! what new scruple ? 

Tertsky. 
The Duke will not. 

Countess. 
He will not what he must ! 

Illo- 
It lies with you now. Try. For I am silenced, 
When folks begin to talk to me of conscience, 
And of fidelity. 

Countess. 
How? then, when all 
lay in the far-off distance, when the road 
Stretched out before thine eyes interminably, 
Then hadst thou courage and resolve ; and now, 
Now that the dream is being realized, 
The purpose ripe, the issue ascertained, 
Dost thou begin to play the dastard now ? 
Planned merely, 'tis a common felony ; 
Accomplished, an immortal undertaking ; 
And with success comes pardon hand in hand ; 
For all event is God's arbitrament. 

Servant, {enters.) 
The Colonel Piccolomini. 

Countess, {hastily.) 
— Must wait. 

Wallenstein. 
I cannot see him now. Another time. 

Servant. 
But for two minutes he entreats an audience ; 
Of the most urgent nature is his business. 



C20 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 
Who knows what ho may bring us ? I will hear him. 

Countess, {laughs.) 
Urgent for him, no doubt ; but thou may'st wait. 

Wallenstein. 
What is it ? 

Countess. 
Thou shalt be informed hereafter. 
First let the Swede and thee be compromised. [Exit servant 

Wallenstein. 
If there were yet a choice ; if yet some milder 
Way of escape were possible — I still 
Will choose it, and avoid the last extreme. 

Countess. 
Desirest thou nothing further ? Such a way 
Lies still before thee. Send this Wrangel off. 
Forget thou thy old hopes, cast far away 
All thy past life ; determine to commence 
A new one. Virtue hath her heroes too, 
As well as Fame and Fortune. — To Vienna — 
Hence — to the Emperor — kneel before the throne ; 
Take a full coffer with thee — say aloud, 
Thou didst but wish to prove thy fealty ; 
Thy whole intention but to dupe the Swede. 

Illo. 
For that, too, 'tis too late. They know too much. 
He would but bear his own head to the block. 

Countess. 
I fear that not. They have not evidence 
To attaint him legally, and they avoid 
The avowal of an arbitrary power. 
They'll let the Duke resign without disturbance. 
I see how all will end. The king of Hungary 
Makes his appearance, and 'twill of itself 
Be understood, that then the Duke retires. 
There will not want a formal declaration. 
The young King will administer the oath 
To the whole army ; and so all returns 
To the old position. On some morrow morning 
The Duke departs ; and now 'tis stir and bustle 



THE ' PIC COL OMINL 527 



Within his castles. He will hunt, and build, 

Superintend his horses' pedigrees, 

Creates himself a court, gives golden keys, 

A.nd introduceth strictest ceremony 

In fine proportions, and nice etiquette ; 

Keeps open table with high cheer ; in brief 

Commenceth mighty king — in miniature. 

And while he prudently demeans himself, 

And gives himself no actual importance, 

He will be let appear whate'er he likes ; 

And who dares doubt, the Friedland will appear 

A mighty Prince to his last dying hour ? 

Well now, what then ? Duke Friedland is as otheri, 

A fire-new Noble, whom the war hath raised 

To price and currency, a Jonah's gourd, 

An over-night creation of court-favor, 

Which with an undistinguishable ease 

Makes Baron or makes Prince. 

Wallenstein. (in extreme agitation.) 
Take her away. 
Let in the young Count Piccolomini. 

Countess. 
Art thou in earnest ? I intreat thee ! Canst thou 
Consent to bear thyself to thy own grave, 
So ignominiously to be dried up ? 
Thy life, that arrogated such a height, 
To end in such a nothing ! To be nothing, 
When one was always nothing, is an evil 
That asks no stretch of patience, a light evil ; 
But to become a nothing, having been — 

Wallenstein. (starts up in violent agitation.) 
Show me a way out of this stifling crowd, 
Ye powers of aidance ? Show me such a way 
As / am capable of going. — I 
Am no tongue-hero, no fine virtue-prattler ; 
I cannot warm by thinking ! cannot say 
To the good luck that turns her back upon me 
Magnanimously : ' Go ! I need thee not.' 
Cease I to work, I am annihilated. 
Dangers nor sacrifices will I shun, 
If so I may avoid the last extreme ; 
But ere I sink down into nothingness, 
Leave off so little, who begun so great, 
Ere that the world confuses me with those 



523 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Poor wretches, whom a day creates and crumbles, 
This age and after-ages speak my name 
With hate and dread ; and Friedland be redemption 
For each accursed deed ! 

Countess. 
What is there here, then, 
So against nature ? Help me to perceive it ! 
O let not Superstition's nightly goblins 
Subdue thy clear bright spirit ! Art thou bid 
To murder ? — with abhorred, accursed poniard, 
To violate the breasts that nourished thee ? 
That were arainst our nature, that might aptly 
Make thy flesh shudder, and thy whole heart sicken ; 
Yet not a few, and for a meaner object, 
Have ventured even this, ay, and performed it. 
What is there in thy case so black and monstrous ? 
Thou art accused of treason — whether with 
Or without justice, is not now the question — 
Thou'rt lost if thou dost not avail thee quickly 
Of the power which thou possessest. — Friedland ! Duke I 
Tell me, where lives that thing so meek and tame, 
That doth not all his living faculties 
Put forth in preservation of his life ? 
What deed so daring, which necessity 
And desperation will not sanctify ? 

Wallenstein. 
Once was this Ferdinand so gracious to me : 
He loved me ; he esteemed me ; I was placed 
The nearest to his heart. Full many a time 
We, like familiar friends, both at one table, 
Have banquetted together. He and I — 
And the young kings themselves held me the basin 
Wherewith to wash me — and is't come to this ? 

Countess. 
So faithfully preserv'st thou each small favor, 
And hadst no memory for contumelies ? 
Must I remind thee how at Regenspurg 
This man repaid thy faithful services ? 
All ranks and all conditions in the empire 

Thou hast wronged, to make him great, — hadst loaded on thee, 
On thee, the hate, the curse of the whole world, 
No friend existed for thee in all Germany, 
And why ? because thou hadst existed only 
For th' Emperor. To th' Emperor alone 



Clung Friedland in that storm which gathered lOund him. 

At Regenspurg in the Diet — and he dropped thee ! 

He let thee fall ! He let thee fall a victim 

To the Bavarian, to that insolent ! 

Deposed, stript bare of all thy dignity 

And power, amid the taunting of thy foes. 

Thou wert let drop into obscurity. — 

Say not, the restoration of thy honor 

Has made atonement for that first injustice. 

No honest good- will was it that replaced thee, 

The law of hard necessity replaced thee, 

Which they had fain opposed, but that they could not. 

Wallenstein. 

Not to their good wishes, that is certain, 
Nor yet to his affection I'm indebted 
For this high office • and if I abuse it, 
I shall therein abuse no confidence. 

Countess. 
Affection ! confidence ! — They needed thee. 
Necessity, impetuous remonstrant ! 
Who not with empty name?, or shows of proxy, 
Is served, who'll have the thing and not the symbols 
Ever seeks out the greatest and the best, 
And at the rudder places him, e'en though 
She had been forced to take him from the rabble, 
She, this Necessity, it was that placed thee 
In this high office, it was she that gave thee 
Thy letters patent of inauguration. 
For, to the uttermost moment that they can, 
This race still help themselves at cheapest rate 
With slavish souls, with puppets ! At the approach 
Of extreme peril, when a hollow image 
Is found a hollow image and no more, 
Then falls the power into the mighty hands 
Of nature, of the spirit giant-born, 
Who listens only to himself, knows nothing 
Of stipulation, duties, reverences; 
And, like th' emancipated force of fire, 
U n mastered scorches, ere it reaches them, 
Their fine-spun webs, their artificial policy. 

Wallenstein. 
'Tis true ! they saw me always as I am — 
Always! I did not cheat them in the bargaJLu 

34 .;.::.- 



I never held it worth my pains to hide 
The bold, all-grasping habit of my soul. 

Countess. 

Nay, rather — thou hast ever shown thyself 

A formidable man, without restraint ; 

Hast exercised the full prerogatives 

Of thy impetuous nature, which had been 

Once granted to thee. Therefore, Duke, not thou 

Who hast still remained consistent with thyself, 

But they are in the wrong, who fearing thee, 

Intrusted such a power in hands they feared. 

For, by the laws of spirit, in the right 

Is every individual character 

That acts in strict consistence with itself. 

Self-contradiction is the only wrong. 

Wert thou another being, then, when thou 

Eight years ago pursuedst thy march with fire 

And sword, and desolation, through the circles 

Of Germany, the universal scourge, 

Didst mock all ordinances of the Empire, 

The fearful rights of strength alone exertedst, 

Trampledst to earth each rank, each magistracy, 

All to extend thy Sultan's domination ? 

Then was the time to break thee in. to curb 

Thy haughty will, to teach thee ordinance. 

But no ! the Emperor felt no touch of conscience, 

What served him pleased him, and without a murmur 

He stamped his broad seal on these lawless deeds. 

What at that time was right, because thou didst it 

For him, to-day is all at once become 

Opprobrious, foul, because it is directed 

Against him. — O most flimsy superstition ! 

Wallenstein. {rising.) 

I never saw it in this light before. 

'Tis even so. The Emperor perpetrated 

Deeds through my arm, deeds most unorderly. 

And even this prince's mantle, which I wear, 

I owe to what were services to him, 

But most high misdemeanors 'gainst the Empire. 

COUiVi'ESS. 

Then betwixt thee and him \ joniess it, Friedland I) 
The point can be no more of right and duty, 
Only of power and th' opportunity. 



That opportunity, lo ! it comes yonder, 

Approaching with swift steeds ; then with a swing 

Throw thyself np into the chariot-seat, 

Seize with firm hand the reins, ere thy opponent 

Anticipate thee, and himself make conquest 

Of the now empty seat. The moment comes, 

It is already here, when thou must write 

The absolute total of thy life's vast sum. 

The constellations stand victorious o'er thee, 

The planets shoot good fortune in fair junctions, 

And tell thee, ' Now's the time ! ' The starry courses 

Hast thou thy life long measured to no purpose? 

The quadrant and the circle, were they playthings ? 

[pointing to the different objects in the room. 
The zodiacs, the rolling orbs of heaven, 
Hast pictured on these walls, and all around thee, 
In dumb, foreboding symbols hast thou placed 
These seven presiding lords of destiny — 
For toys ? Is all this preparation nothing ? 
Is there no marrow in this hollow art, 
That even to thyself it doth avail 
Nothing, and has no influence uver thee 

In the great moment of decision ? 

Wallenstehnt. {during this last speech walks up and down with 

inward struggles, laboring with passions ; stops suddenly, 

stands still, then interrupting the Countess.) 
Send Wrangel to me — I will instantly 
Despatch three couriers 

Illo. (hurrying out.) 

God in heaven be praised t 

Wallenstein. 
It is his evil genius and. mine. 
Our evil genius ! It chastises him 
Through me, the instrument of His ambition ; 
And I expect no less than that revenge 
E'en now is whetting for my breast the poniard. 
Who sows the serpent's teeth, let him not hope 
To reap a joyous harvest. Every crime 
Has, in the moment of its preparation. 
Its own avenging angel — dark misgiving, 
An ominous sinking at the inmost heart. 
He can no longer trust me. — Then no longer 
Can I retreat — so come that which must com*, 
Still destiny preserves its due relations ; 



53 2 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

The heart within us is its absolute 

Vicegerent. [to Tertsky. 

Go, conduct your Gustave Wrangel 
To my state-cabinet. — Myself will speak to 
The couriers. — And despatch immediately 
A servant for Octavio Piccolomini. 

[to the Countess, who cannot conceal her triumph, 
No exultation! — women, triumph not! 
For jealous are the powers of destiny 
Joy premature, and shouts ere victory, 
Encroach upon their rights and privileges. 
We sow the seed, and they the growth determine. 

[While he is making his exit the curtain drops. 



ACT V. 

Scene as in the preceding Act. 
SCENE I. 

Wallenstein, Octavio Piccolomini. 

Wallenstein. {coming forward in conversation.} 
He sends me word from Linz, that he lies sick ; 
But I have sure intelligence, that he 
Secretes himself at Frauenberg with Galas. 
Secure them both, and send them to me hither. 
Remember, thou tak'st on thee the command 
Of those same Spanish regiments, — constantly 
Make preparation, and be never ready ; 
And if they urge thee to draw out against me, 
Still answer yes, and stand as thou wert fettered. 
I know, that it is doing thee a service 
To keep thee out of action in this business. 
Thou lov'st to linger on in fair appearances ; 
Steps of extremity are not thy province, 
Therefore have I sought out this part for thee 
Thou wilt this time be of most service to me 
By thy inertness. The mean time, if fortune 
Declare itself on my side, thou wilt know 
What is to do. 



Enter Max. Piccolomini. 
Now go. Octavio. 
This night must thou be off, take my own horses : 
Him here I keep with me — make short farewell — 
Trust me. I think we all shall meet again 
In joy and thriving fortunes. 

Octavio. {to his son.) 

1 shall see yon 
Yet ere I go. 

SCENE II. 

Wallenstein, Max. PiccoiiOMiin 
Max. (advances to him.) 
My General ! 

Wallenstein. 
That am I no longer, if 
Thou styl'st thyself the Emperor's officer. 

Max. 
Then thou wilt leave the army, General ? 

Wallenstein. 
I have renounced the service of the Emperor. 

Max. 
And thou wilt leave the army ? 

Wallenstein. 

Rather hope I 
To bind it nearer still and faster to me. [He ****** himself. 

Yes, Max., I have delayed to open it to thee, 
Even till the hour of acting 'gins to strike. 
Youth's fortunate feeling doth seize easily 
The absolute right, yea, and a joy it is 
To exercise the single apprehension 
Where the sums square in proof ; 
But where it happens, that of two sure evils 
One must be taken, where the heart not wholly 
Brings itself back from out the strife of duties, 
There 'tis a blessing to have no election, 
And blank necessity is grace and favor. — 
This is now present : do not look behind thee — 
It can no more avail thee. Look thou forwards ! 



Think not ! judge not ! prepare thyself to act ! 
The Court — it hath determined on my ruin, 
Therefore I will to be beforehand with them. 
We'll join the Swedes — right gallant fellows are they, 
And our good friends. 

[He stops himself, expecting Piccolomini's answer. 
I have ta'en thee by surprise. Answer me not. 
I grant thee time to recollect thyself. 

[He rises, and retires to the hack of the stage. Max. remains 

for a long time motionless, in a trance of excessive anguish. 

At his first motion Wallenstein returns, and places himself 

before him. 

Max. 
My General, this day thou makest me 
Of age to speak in my own right and person, 
For till this day I have been spared the trouble 
To find out my own road. Thee have I followed 
With most implicit, unconditional faith, 
Sure of the right path if I followed thee. 
To-day, for the first time, dost thou refer 
Me to myself, and forcest me to make 
Election between thee and my own heart. 

Wallenstein. 
Soft cradled thee thy fortune till to-day : 
Thy duties thou couldst exercise in sport, 
Indulge all lovely instincts, act forever 
With undivided heart. It can remain 
No longer thus. Like enemies, the roads 
Start from each other. Duties strive with duties. 
Thou must needs choose thy party in the war 
Which is now kindling 'twixt thy friend and him 
Who is thy Emperor. 

Max. 
War ! is that the name ? 
War is as frightful as heaven's pestilence, 
Yet it is good, is it heaven's will as that is. 
Is that a good war, which against the Emperor 
Thou wagest with the Emperor's own army ? 
O God of Heaven ! what a change is this. 
Beseems it me to offer such persuasion 
To thee, who, like the fixed star of the pole, 
Wert all I gazed at on life's trackless ocean ? 
O ! what a rent thou makest in my heart ! 
The ingrained instinct of old reverence, 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 535 



The holy habit of obediency, 

Must i pluck life asunder from thy name ? 

Nay, do not turn thy countenance upon me — 

It always was a god looking at me ! 

Duke Wallenstein, its power is not departed : 

The senses still are in thy bonds ; although, 

Bleeding, the soul hath freed itself. 

Wallenstein. 

Max. hear me. 
Max. 
! do it not, I pray thee, do it not ! 
There is a pure and noble soul within thee, 
Knows not of this unblest, unlucky doing. 
Thy will is chaste, it is thy fancy only 
Which hath polluted thee — and innocence, 
It will not let itself be driven away 
From that world-awing aspect. Thou wilt not, 
Thou canst not end in this. It would reduce 
All human creatures to disloyalty 
Against the nobleness of their own nature. 
'Twill justify the vulgar misbelief, 
Which holdeth nothing noble in free will, 
And trusts itself to impotence alone, 
Made powerful only in an unknown power. 

Wallenstein. 
The world will judge me sternly ; I expect it. 
Already have I said to my own self 
All thou canst say to me. Who but avoids 
Th' extreme — can he by going round avoid it ? 
But here there is no choice. Yes — I must use 
Or suffer violence— so stands the case, 
There remains nothing possible but that. 

Max. 
O that is never possible for thee ! 
'Tis the last desperate resource of those 
Cheap souls, to whom their honor, their good name, 
Is their poor saving, their last worthless keep, 
Which having staked and lost, they stake themselves 
In the mad rage of gaming. Thou art rich, 
And glorious : with an unpolluted heart 
Thou canst make conquest of whate'er seems highest t 
But he, who once hath acted infamy, 
Does nothing more in this world. 



53° COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 

Wallenstein. (grasps his hand.) 

Calmly, Max. 
Much that is great and excellent will we 
Perform together yet. And if we only 
Stand on the height with dignity, 'tis soon 
Forgotten, Max., by what road we ascended. 
Believe me, many a crown shines spotless now, 
That yet was deeply sullied in the winning. 
To the evil spirit doth the earth belong, 
Not to the good. All that the powers divine 
Send from above, are universal blessings : 
Their light rejoices us, their air refreshes, 
But never yet was man enriched by them : 
In their eternal realm no property 
Is to be struggled for — all there is general. 
The jewel, the all-valued gold we win 
From the deceiving powers, depraved in nature, 
That dwell beneath the day and blessed sunlight. 
Not without sacrifices are they rendered 
Propitious, and there lives no soul on earth 
That e'er retired unsullied from their service. 

Max. 
Whate'er is human, to the human being 
Do I allow — and to the vehement 
And striving spirit readily I pardon 
Th' excess of action ; but to thee, my General ! 
Above all others make 1 large concession, 
For thou must move a world, and be the master — ■ 
He kills thee, who condemns thee to inaction. 
So be it then ! maintain thee in thy post 
By violence. Resist the Emperor, 
And if it must be, force with force repel : 
I will not praise it, yet I can forgive it. 
But not — not to the traitor — yes ! — the word 

Is spoken out 

Not to the traitor can I yield a pardon. 
That is no mere excess ! that is no error 
Of human nature — that is wholly different, 
O that is black, black as the pit of hell ! 

[Wallenstein betrays a sudden agitatiork 
Thou canst not hear it named, and wilt thou do it ? 

turn back to thy duty. That thou canst 

1 hold it certain. Send me to Vienna. 

I'll make thy peace for thee with th' Emperor, 
tie knows thee not. But 1 do know thee, lie 




Shall see thee, Duke ! with my unclouded eye, 
And I bring back his confidence to thee. 

Wallenstein. 
It is too late. Thou knowest not what has happened. 

Max. 
Were it too late, and were it gone so far, 
That a crime only could prevent thy fall, 
Then — fall ! fall honorably, even as thou stood'st. 
Lose the command. Go from the stage of war. 
Thou canst with splendor do it — do it too 
With innocence. Thou hast lived much for others, 
At length live thou for thine own self. I follow thee. 
My destiny I never part from thine. 

Wallenstein. 
It is too late ! Even now, while thou art losing 
Thy words, one after the other are the mile-stones 
Left fast behind by my post couriers, 
Who bear the Order on to Prague and Egra. 

[Max. stands as convulsed, with a gesture and countenance, 
expressing the most intense anguish. 
Yield thyself to it. We act as we are forced. 
I cannot give assent to my own shame 
And ruin. Thou — no — thou canst not forsake me ! 
So let us do, what must be done, with dignity, 
With a firm step. What am I doing worse 
•Than did famed Caesar at the Rubicon, 
When he the legions led against his country, 
The which his country had delivered to him ? 
Had he thrown down the'sword he had been lost, 
As I were, if I but disarmed myself. 
I trace out something in me of his spirit. 
Give me his luck, that other thing Vll bear. 

[Max. quits him abruptly. Wallenstein, startled and on r 
powered, continues looking after him, and is still i,i tuts 
posture when Tertsky enters. 



SCENE III. 

Wallenstein, Tertsky. 
Tertsky. 
Max. Piccolomini just left you ? 



538 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 

Where is Wrangel ? 

Tertsky. 



He is already gone. 



Wallenstein. 
In such a hurry ? 

Tertsky. 
It is as if the earth had swallowed him. 
He had scarce left thee when I went to seek him. 
1 wished some words with him — but he was gone. 
How, when, and where, could no one tell me. Nay, 
I half believe it was the devil himself ; 
A human creature could not so at once 
Have vanished. 

Illo. {enters.) 
Is it true that thou wilt send Octavio \ 

Tertsky. 
How, Octavio ! Whither send him ? 

Wallenstein. 
He goes to Frauenberg, and will lead hither 
The Spanish and Italian regiments. 

Illo. 

No!— 
Nay, Heaven forbid ! 

Wallenstein. 

And why should Heaven forbid ? 

Illo. 
Him! that deceiver! Wonld'st thou trust to him 
The soldiery ? Him wilt thou let slip from thee, 
Now, in the very instant that decides us — 

Tertsky. 
Thou wilt not do this ! — No ! I pray thee, no ! 

Wallenstein. 
Ye are whimsical. 

Illo. 
O but for this time, Duke, 
Yield to our warning ! Let him not depart. 



THE PICCOLO MINT. S39 



Wallenstein. 
And why should I not trust him only this time, 
Who have always trusted him ? What, then, has happened 
That 1 should lose my good opinion of him ? 
In complaisance to your whims, not my own, 
1 must, forsooth, give up a rooted judgment. 
Think not I am a woman. Having trusted him 
E'en till to-day, to-day too will I trust him. 

Tertsky. 
Must it be he — he only ? Send another. 

Wallenstein. 
It must be he, whom I myself have chosen ! 
He is well fitted for the business. Therefore 
I gave it him. 

Illo. 
Because he's an Italian — 
Therefore is he well fitted for the business. 

Wallenstein. 
I know you love them not — nor sire nor son — 
Because that I esteem them, love them — visibly 
Esteem then], love them more than you and others, 
E'en as they merit. Therefore are they eye-blights, 
Thorns in your footpath. But your jealousies, 
In what affect they me or my concerns ? 
Are they the worst to me, because you hate them ? 
love or hate one another as you will, 
I leave to each man his own moods and likings \ 
Yet know the worth of each of you to me. 

Illo. 
Von Questenberg, while he was here, was always 
Lurking about with this Octavio. 

Wallenstein. 
It happened with my knowledge and permission. 

Illo. 
I know that secret messengers came to him 

From Galas 

Wallensteln. 

That's not true. 

Illo. 

thou art blind, 
With thy deep-seeing eyes. 



54° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Wallenstein. 

Thou wilt not shak* 
My faith for me — my faith which founds itself 
On the profoundest science. If 'tis false, 
Then the whole science of the stars is false. 
For know, I have a pledge from fate itself, 
That he is the most faithful of my friends. 

Illo. 
Hast thou a pledge, that this pledge is not false ? 

Wallenstein. 

There exist moments in the life of man, 

When he is nearer the great Soul of the world 

Than is man's custom, and possesses freely 

The power of questioning his destiny : 

And such a moment 'twas, when in the night 

Before the action in the piains of Lutzen, 

Leaning against a tree, thoughts crowding thoughts, 

I looked out far upon the ominous plain. 

My whole life, past and future, in this moment 

Before my mind's eye glided in procession, 

And to the destiny of the next morning 

The spirit, filled with anxious presentiment, 

Did knit the most removed futurity. 

Then said I also to myself, ' So many 

Dost thou command. They follow ail thy stars, 

And as on some great number set their all 

Upon thy single head, and only man 

The vessel of thy fortune. Yet a day 

Will come, when Destiny shall once more scatter 

All these in many a several direction : 

Few be they who will stand out faithful to thee.' 

I yearned to know which one was faithfullest 

Of all this camp included. Great Destiny, 

Give me a sign ! And he shall be the man, 

Who, on th' approaching morning, comes the first 

To meet me with some token of his love : 

And thinking this, I fell into a slumber. 

Then midmost in the battle was I led 

In spirit. Great the pressure and the tumult ! 

Then was my horse killed under me : I sank ; 

And over me away, all unconcernedly, 

Drove horse and rider — and thus trod to pieces 

I lay, and panted like a dying man. 

Then seized me suddenly a savior arm. 



the PTccoLOMrm. 541 



It was Octavio's — I awoke at once. 

'Twas broad day, and Octavio stood before me. 

' My brother,' said he, 'do not ride to-day 

The dapple, as you're wont ; but mount the horse 

Which I have chosen for thee. Do it brother ! 

In love to me. A strong dream warned me so.' 

It was the swiftness of this horse that snatched me 

From the hot pursuit of Bannier's dragoons. 

My cousin rode the dapple on that day, 

And never more saw I or horse or rider. 

Illo. 
That was a chance. 

Wallekstein. {significantly.) 

There's no such thing as chance. 
In brief, 'tis signed and sealed that this Octavio 
Is my good angel — and now no word more. [He is retiring 

Tertsky. 
This is my comfort — Max. remains our hostage. 

Illo. 
And he shall never stir from here alive. 

Wallenstein. (stops, and turns himself round.) 
Are you not like the women, who forever 
Only recur to their first word, altho' 
One had been talking reason by the hour? 
Know, that the human being's thoughts and deeds 
Are not, like ocean billow r s, blindly moved. 
The inner world, his microcosm us, is 
The deep shaft, out of which they spring eternally, 
They grow by certain laws, like the tree's fruit — 
No juggling chance can metamorphose them. 
Have I the human kernel first examined ? 
Then I know, too, the future will and action. 



SCENE IV. 

Scene — a chamber in PiccolominVs dwelling-house, 

Octavio Piccolomini, Isolani, {entering.) 

Isolani. 
Here am I — Well ! who comes yet of the others ? 



542 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Octavio. {with an air of mystery.) 
But, first, a word with you, Count Isolani. 

Isolani. {assuming the same air of mystery.) 
Will it explode, ha ? — Is the Duke about 
To make th' attempt ? In me, friend, you may plac© 
Full confidence. — Nay, put me to the proof. 

Octavio. 
That may happen. 

Isolani. 
Noble brother, I am 
Not one of those men who in words are valiant, 
And when it comes to action skulk away. 
The Duke has acted towards me as a friend. 

God knows it is so ; and I owe him all 

He may rely on my fidelity. 

Octavio. 
That will be seen hereafter. 

Isolam. 

Be on-your guard. 
All think not as I think ; and there are many 
Who still hold with the Court — yes, and they say 
That those stolen signatures bind them to nothing. 

Octavio. 
I am rejoiced to hear it. 

Isolani. 
You rejoice ! 

Octavio. 
That the Emperor hath yet such gallant servants 
And loving friends. 

Isolani. 

Nay, jeer not, I entreat yon. 
They are no such worthless fellows, I assure you. 

Octavio. 
I am assured already. God forbid 
That I should jest ! — In very serious earnest 
I am rejoiced to see an honest cause 
So strong. 



THE PICCOLOMINL 543 



ISOLANI. 

The devil ! — what !— why, what means this ? 
Are you not, then For what 7 then, am I here? 

Octavio. 
That you may make full declaration, whether 
You will be called the friend or enemy 
Of th' Emperor. 

Isolani. {with an air of defiance.) 
That declaration, friend, 
I'll make to him in whom a right is placed 
To put the question to me. 

Octavio. 

Whether, Count, 
That right is mine, this paper may instruct you. 

IsoLANi. {stammering.) 
Why — why — what ! this is the Emperor's hand and seal ? 

[Reads, 
* Whereas the officers collectively 
Throughout our army will obey the orders 
Of the Lieutenant-General Piccolomini, 
As from ourselves.' — Hem ! — Yes ! so ! — Yes I yes ! 
I — I give you joy, Lieutenant-General 1 

Octavio. 
And you, submit you to the order ? 

Isolaxi. 

I 

But you have taken me so by surprise — 
Time for reflection one must have — 

Octavio. 

Two minutes. 
Tsolani. 
My God ! But then the case is 

Octavio. 

Plain and simple. 
You must declare you, whether you determine 
To act a treason 'gainst your Lord and Sovereign, 
Or whether you will serve him faithfully. 

Isolani. 
Treason ! — My God ! — But who talks then of treason t 



544 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

OCTAVIO. 

That is the case. The Prince-Duke is a traitor — 
Means to lead over to the enemy 

The Emperor's army. — Now, Count ! — brief and full- 
Say will you break your oath to th' Emperor ? 
Sell yourself to the enemy ? — Say, will you ? 

Isolani. 

What mean you ? I — I break my oath, d'ye say, 

To his Imperial Majesty. 

Did I say so ? — When, when have I said that ? 

Octavio. 

You have not said it yet — not yet. This instant 
I wait to hear, Count, whether you will say it. 

Isolani. 
Ay ! that delights me now, that you yourself 
Bear witness for me that I never said so. 

Octavio. 
And you renounce the Duke then ? 

Isolani. 

If he's planning 
Treason — why, treason breaks all bonds asunder. 

Octavio. 
And are determined, too, to fight against him ? 

Isolani. 
He has done me service — but if he's a villain, 
Perdition seize him ! — All scores are rubbed off. 

Octavio. 

I'm rejoiced that you're so well disposed. 
This night break off in th' utmost secrecy 
With all the light-armed troops — it must appear 
As came the o^der from the Duke himself. 
At Frauenberg's the place of rendezvous ; 
There will Count Galas give you further orders. 

Isolani. 

It shall be done. But you'll remember me 

With th' Emperor^— how well-disposed you found me 



THE PICCOLOMINI. 545 



OCTAVIO. 
I will not fail to mention it honorably. 

[Exit Isolani. A servant enters. 
What, Colonel Butler! — Show him up. 
Isolani. {returning.) 
Forgive me, too, my bearish ways, old father ! 
Lord God ! how should I know, then, what a great 
Person I had before me. 

Octavio. 
No excuses. 

Isolani. 
I am a merry lad, and if at times 
A rash word might escape me 'gainst the court 
Amidst my wine — you know no harm was meant. [Exit 

Octavio. 
You need not be uneasy on that score. 
That lias succeeded. Fortune favor us 
With all the others only but as much! 

SCENE V. 

Octavio Piccolomini, Butler. 

Butler. 
At your command, Lieutenant-General . 

Octavio. 
Welcome, as honored friend and visitor. 

Butler. 
You do me too much honor. 

Octavio. {after both have seated themselves.) 
You have not 
Returned the advances which I made you yesterday- 
Misunderstood them, as mere empty forms. 
That wish proceeded from my heart — I was 
In earnest with you — for 'tis now a time 
In which the honest should unite most closely. 

Butler. 
'Tis only the like-minded can unite. 

35 




OCTAVIO. 

True ! and I name all honest men like-minded. 

I never charge a man but with those acts 

To which his character deliberately 

Impels him ; for alas ! the violence 

Of blind misunderstandings often thrusts 

The very best of us from the right track. 

You came thro' Frauenberg. Did the Count Galas 

Say nothing to you ? Tell me. He's my friend. 

Butler. 
His words were lost on me. 

Octavio. 

It grieves me sorely 
To hear it, for his counsel was most wise. 
I had myself the like to offer. 

Butler. 

Spare 
Yourself the trouble, me th' embarrassment, 
To have deserved so ill your good opinion. 

Octavio. 
The time is precious — let us talk openly. 
You know how matters stand here. Wallenstein 
Meditates treason — I can tell you further — 
He has committed treason ; but few hours 
Have passed, since he a covenant concluded 
With th' enemy. The messengers are now 
Full on their way to Egra and to Prague. 
To-morrow he intends to lead us over 
To th' enemy. But he deceived himself ; 
For prudence wakes — the Emperor has still 
Many and faithful friends here, and they stand 
In closest union, mighty tho' unseen. 
This manifesto sentences the Duke — 
Recalls the obedience of the army from him, 
And summons all the loyal, all the honest, 
To join and recognize in me their leader. 
Choose — will you share with us an honest cause ? 
Or with the evil share an evil lot ? 

Butler, (rises.) 
His lot is mine. 

Octavio. 
Is tli at your last resolve ? 



THE PICCOLO MINI. 547 



Butler. 

It is. 

OCTAVIO. 

Nay, but bethink you, Colonel Butler ! 

As yet you have time. Within my faithful breast 

That rashly uttered word remains interred. 

Recall it, Butler ! choose a better party. 

You have not chosen the right one. 

Butler, {going.) 

Any other 
Commands for me, Lieutenant-General. 

Octavio. 
See your white hairs ! Recall that word ! 

Butler. 

Farewell ! 

Octavio. 
What ! would you draw this good and gallant sword 
In such a cause ? Into t curse would you 
Transform the gratitude which you have earned 
By forty years' fidelity from Austria ? 

Butler, {laughing with bitterness.) ■ 
Gratitude from the house of Austria. [He is going. 

Octavio. {permits him to go as far as the door, then calls after 

him.) 
Butler ! 

Butler. 
What wish you ? 

Octavio. 

How was't with the Count ? 

Butler. 
Count? what? 

Octavio. (coldly.) 
The title that you wished I mean. 

Butler, (starts in sudden passion.) 
Uell and damnation ! 

Octavio. (coldly.) 

You petitioned for it — 
And your petition was repelled — Was't so ? 



54$ • COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Butler. 
Your insolent scoff shall not go by unpunished. 
Draw ! 

OCTAVIO. 

Nay ! your sword to its sheath I and tell me calmly 
How all that happened. I will not refuse you 
Your satisfaction afterwards. — Calmly, Butler. 

Butler. 
Be the whole world acquainted with the weakness 
For which I never can forgive myself, 
Lieutenant-General ! Yes, I have ambition. 
Ne'er was I able to endure contempt. 
It stung me to the quick, that birth and title 
Should have more weight than merit has in th' army. 
I would fain not be meaner than my equal, 
So in an evil hour I let myself 
Be tempted to that measure — It was folly ! 
But yet so hard a penance it deserved not. 
It might have been refused ; but wherefore barb 
And venom the refusal Avith contempt ? 
Why dash to earth and crush with heaviest scorn 
The gray-haired man, the faithful veteran? 
Why to the baseness of bis parentage 
Refer him with such cruel roughness, only 
Because he had a weak hour and forgot himself ? 
But nature gives a sting e'en to the worm 
Which wanton power treads on in sport and insult. 

Octavio. 
You must have been calumniated. Guess you 
The enemy, who did you this ill service ? 

Butler. 
Be't who it will — a most low-hearted scoundrel, 
Some vile court-minion must it be, some Spaniard, 
Some young squire of some ancient family, 
In whose light I may stand, some envious knave, 
Stung to his soul by my fair self-earned honors ! 

Octavio. 
But tell me ! Did the Duke approve that measure ? 

Butler. 
Himself impelled me to it, used his interest 
In my behalf with all the warmth of friendship. 



- 



the rrccoLOMim. 519 

Octavio. 
Ay? Are you sure of that ? 

BUTLET •.. 

I read the letter. 

Octavio. 
And so did I — but the contents were different. 

[Butler is suddenly struck. 
By chance I'm in possession of that letter — 
Can leave it to your own eyes to convince you. 

{He gives him the letter. 
Butler. 
Ha ! what is this ? 

Octavio. 

I fear me, Colonel Butler, 
An infamous game they have been playing with you. 
The Duke, you say, impelled you to this measure ? 
Now, in this letter talks he in contempt 
Concerning you ; counsels the minister 
To give sound chastisement to your conceit, 
For so he calls it. 

[Butler reads through the letter, his knees tremble, he seizes 
a chair, and sinks down in it. 
You have no enemy, no persecutor ; 
There's no one wishes ill to you. Ascribe 
The insult you received to the Duke only. 
His aim is clear and palpable. He wished 
To tear you from your Emperor — he hoped 
To gain from your revenge what he well knew 
(What your long-tried fidelity convinced him) 
He ne'er could dare expect from your calm reason. 
A blind tool would he make you, in contempt 
Use you as means of most abandoned ends. 
He has gained his point. Too well has he succeeded 
In luring you away from that good path 
On which you had been journeying forty years ! 

Butler, (his voice trembling .) 
Can e'er the Emperor's Majesty forgive me ? 

Octavio. 
More than forgive you. He would fain compensate 
For that affront, and most unmerited grievance 
Sustained by a deserving, gallant veteran. 
From his free impulse he confirms the present, 



S3 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

_ — «i 

Which the Duke made you for a wicked purpose. 
The regiment, which you now command, is yours. 

[Butler attempts to rise, sinks down again. He labors in- 
wardly with violent emotions ; tries to speak, and cannot, 
At length he takes his sword from the belt, and offers it to 
Piccolomini. 

Octavio. 
What wish you ? Recollect yourself, friend. 

Butler. 



Octavio. 
But to what purpose ? Calm yourself. 

Butler. 



O take it. 



O take it I 



I am no longer worthy of this sword. 

Octavio. 
Receive it then anew from my hands — and 
Wear it with honor for the right cause ever. 

Butler. 
Perjure myself to such a gracious Sovereign I 

Octavio. 
You'll make amends. Quick ! break off from the Duke ! 

Butler. 
Break off from him I 

Octavio. 
What now ? Bethink thyself. 

Butler, {no longer governing his emotion) 
Only break off from him ! — He dies ! he dies I 

Octavio. 
Come after me to Frauenberg, where now 
All, who are loyal, are assembling under 
Counts Altringer and Galas. Many others 
•I've brought to a remembrance of their duty. 
This night be sure that you escape from Pilsen. 

Butler, {strides up and down in excessive agitation, then steps 

up to Octavio with resolved countenance. 
Count Piccolomini ! Dare that man speak 
Of honor to you, who once broke his troth. 



THE PICCOLOMINL 55 1 



OCTAVIO. 
He v who repents so deeply of it, dares. 

Butler. 
Then leave me here, upon my word of honor ! 

Octavio. 
What's your design ? 

Butler. 
Leave me and my regiment. 

.Octavio. 
I have full confidence in you. But tell me 
What are you brooding ? 

Butler. 
That the deed will tell you. 
Ask me no more at present. Trust to me ; 
Ye may trust safely. By the living God 
Ye give him over, not to his good angel ! 
Farewell ! 

Servant, (enters with a billet.) 
A stranger left it, and is gone. 
The Prince-Duke's horses wait for you below. 

Octavio. (reads.) 
' Be sure, make haste ! Your faithful Isolan.' 
— O that I had but left this town behind me. 
To split upon a rock so near the haven ! — 
Away ! This is no longer a safe place for me! 
Where can my son be tarrying ? 

SCENE VI. 

Octavio and Max. Piccolomini. 

(Max. enters almost in a state of derangement .from extreme agi- 
tation, his eyes roll wildly, his walk is unsteady, and he ap- 
pears not to observe his father, who stands at a distance, and 
gazes at hint, with a countenance expressive of compassion. 
He paces with long strides through the chamber, then stands 
still again, and at last throws himself into a chair, staring 
vacantly at the object directly before him.) 

Octavio. (advances to him.) 
I am going off, my son. 

[Receiving no answer, he takes his hand. 
My son, farewell. 



5 5 2 COLERIDGE *S POEMS. 

Max. 
Farewell. 

Octavio, 
Thou wilt soon follow me ? 



Max. 



I follow thee ? 



Thy way is crooked — it is not my way. 

[Octavio drops, his hand, and starts back. 
O, hadst thou been but simple and sincere, 
Ne'er had it come to this — all had stood otherwise. 
He had not done that foul and horrible deed, 
The virtuous had retained their influence o'er him : 
He had not fallen into the snares of villains. 
Wherefore so like a thief, and thief's accomplice, 
Didst creep behind him — lurking for thy prey ? 
O, unblest falsehood ! Mother of all evil ! 
Thou misery-making demon, it is thou 
That sink'st us in perdition. Simple truth, 
Sustainer of the world, had saved us all ! 
Father, I will not, I cannot excuse thee ! 
Wallenstein has deceived me — O, most foully ! 
But thou has acted not much better. 

Octavio. 

Son! 
My son, ah ! I forgive thy agony ! 

Max. (rises and contemplates his father with looks of suspicion.) 

Was't possible? hadst thou the heart, my father, 

Hadst thou the heart to drive it to such lengths, 

With cold pi emeditated purpose ? Thou — 

Hadst thou the heart, to wish to see him guilty, 

Rather than saved ? Thou risest by his fall. 

Octavio, 'twill not please me. 

Octavio. 

God in heaven J 
Max. 
O, woe is me ! sure I have changed my nature. 
How comes suspicion here — in the free soul ? 
Hope, confidence, belief, are gone ; for all 
Lied to me, all that I e'er loved or honored. 
No ! No 1 Not all ; She — she yet lives for me, 
And she is true, and open as the heavens . 
Deceit is everywhere, hypocrisy, 






THE PICCOLOMINI. &% 



Murder, and poisoning, treason, perjury 

The single holy spot is our love, 

The only unprofaned in human iia^uie. 



Oct^vt Ui 
Max. ! — we will go together, 'Twill be better. 

Max.. 
What ? ere I've taken a \ast parting leave, 
The very last — no, nerfv : 

OCTAVIO. 

Spare thyself 
The pang of necessar;- separation, 
Come with me ! CXa^, my son ! 

[Attempts to take him with hin. 

Max. 
No ! as sure as GocJ lives, no ! 

CctaVIO. {more urgently.) 
Come with n*&, I command thee ! I, thy father. 

Max. 
Command me what is human. I stay here. 

Octavio. 
Max. ! in the Emperor's name I bid thee come. 

Max. 
No Emperor hath power to prescribe 
Laws to the heart ; and would'st thou wish to rob me 
Of the sole blessing which my fate has left me, 
Her sympathy. Must then a cruel deed 
Be done with cruelty ? The unalterable 
Shall I perform ignobly— steal away, 
With stealthy coward flight forsake her ? No I 
She shall behold my suffering, my sore anguish, 
Hear the complaints of the disparted soul, 
And weep tears o'er r»\e. O ! the human race 
Have steely souls — but she is as an angel. 
From the black deadly madness of despair 
Will she redeem my soul, and in soft words 
Of comfort, plaining, loose this pang of death ! 

Octavio. 
Thou wilt not tear thyself away, thou canst not. 
O, come, my son ! I bid thee save thy virtue. 



5*4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Max. 
Squander not thou thy words in vain ; 
The heart I follow, for I dare trust to it. 

Octavio. {trembling, and losing all self-command.) 
Max ! Max. ! if that most damned thing could be, 
If thou — my son — my own blood — (dare I think it ?) 
Do sell thyself to him, the infamous ; 
Do stamp this brand upon our noble house ; 
Then shall the world behold the horrible deed, 
And in unnatural combat shall the steel 
Of the son trickle with the father's blood. 

Max. 
O hadst thou always better thought of men, 
Thou hadst then acted better. Curst suspicion! 
Unholy miserable doubt ! To him 
Nothing on earth remains un wrenched and firm, 
Who has no faith. 

Octavio. 
And if I trust thy heart, 
Will it be always in thy power to follow it ? 

Max. 
The heart's voice thou hast not overpowered — as little 
Will Wallenstein be able to o'erpower it. 

Octavio. 

Max. ! I see thee never more again ! 

Max. 
Unworthy of thee wilt thou never see me. 

Octavio. 

1 go to Frauenberg — the Pappenheimers 

I leave thee here, the Lothrings too ; Toskana 
And Tiefenbach remain here to protect thee. 
They love thee, and are faithful to their oath, 
And will far rather fall in gallant contest 
Than leave their rightful leader, and their honor. 

Max. 
Rely on this, I either leave my life 
In the struggle, or conduct them out of Pilsen. 

Octavio. 
Farewell, my son I 






THE PICC0L0M1NI. SSS 



Max. 
Farewell ! 

Octavio, 

How ? not one look 
Of filial love ? No grasp of the hand at parting ? 
It is a bloody war, to which we are going, 
And the event uncertain and in darkness. 
So used we not to part — it was not so ! 
Is it then true ? I have a son no longer. 

[Max. falls into his arms, they hold each other for a long 
time in a speechless embrace, then go away at different 
sides. The curtain drops* 



THE 

DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN". 



ACT I. 

Scene — A Chamber in the House of the Duchess of Friedland. 

SCENE I. 

Countess Tertsky, Thekla, Lady Neubrunn. 
(The two latter sit at the same table at work.) 

Countess, {watching them from the opposite side.) 
So you have nothing, niece, to ask me ? Nothing ? 
I have been waiting for a word from you. 
And could you then endure in all this time 
Not once to speak his name ? 

[Thekla remaining silent, the Countess rises and advances 
to her. 

Why, how comes this ? 
Perhaps 1 am already grown superfluous, 
And other ways exist, besides through me ? 
Confess it to me, Thekla ! have you seen him 

Thekla. 
To-day and yesterday I have not seen him. 

Countess. 
And not heard from him either ? Come, be open 1 

Thekla. 
No syllable. 

Countess. 
And still you are so calm ? 

tain. 

(55C) 



THE DEATH OE PVALLENSTE/AT. 5$; 



Countess. 
May't please you, leave us, Lady INeubrunn ! 

[Exit Lady Neubrunn* 

SCENE II. 

The Countess, Thekla. 
Countess. 
It does not please me, Princess ! that he holds 
Himself so still, exactly at this time. 

Thekla. 
Exactly at this time. 

Countess. 

He now knows all. 
'Twere now the moment to declare himself. 

Thekla. 
If I'm to understand you, speak less darkly. 

Countess. 
'Twas for that purpose that I bade her leave us. 
Thekla, you are no more a child. Your heart 
Is now no more in nonage ; for you love, 
And boldness dwells with love — that you have proved. 
Your nature moulds itself upon your father's 
More than your mother's spirit. Therefore may you 
Hear, what were too much for her fortitude.' 

Thekla. 
Enough ! no further preface, I entreat you, 
At once, out with it ! Be it what it may, 
It is not possible that it should torture me 
More than this introduction. What have you 
To say to me ? Tell me the whole, and briefly ! 

Countess. 
You'll not be frightened — ' 

Thekla. 

Name it, I entreat you. 

Countess. 
It lies within your power to do your father 
A weighty service — 



55 8 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Thekla. 
Lies within my power? 

Countess. 
Max. Piccolomini loves you. You can link him 
Indissolubly to your father. 

Thekla. 
I? 

What need of me for that? And is he not 
' Already linked to him ? 

Countess. 
He was, 

Thekla. 

And wherefore 
Should he not be so now — not be so always ? 

Countess. 
He cleaves to the Emp'ror too. 

Thekla. 

Not more than duty 
And honor may demand of him. 

Countess. 

We ask 
Proofs of his love, and not proofs of his honor. 
Duty and honor ! 

Those are ambiguous words with many meanings. 
You should interpret them for him : his love 
Should be the sole definer of his honor. 

Thekla. 

How? 
Countess. 
The Emperor or you must he renounce. 

Thekla. 
He will accompany my father 'gladly 
In his retirement. From himself you heard, 
How much he wished to lay aside the sword. 

Countess. 
He must not lay the sword aside, we mean ; 
He must unsheath it in your father's cause. 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEIN. 559 



Thekla. 
He'll spend with gladness and alacrity 
His life, his heart's blood, in my father's cause, 
If shame or injury be intended him. 

Countess. 

You will not understand me. Well, hear then ! 
Your father has fallen off from the Emperor, 
And is about to join the enemy 
With tiie whole soldiery — 

Thekla. 

Alas, my mother I 

Countess. 
There needs a great example to draw on 
The army after him. The Piccolomini 
Possess the love and rev'rence of the troops ; 
They govern all opinions, aud wherever 
They lead the way, none hesitate to follow; 
The son secures the father to our interests — 
You've much in your hands at this moment. 

Thekla. 

My miserable mother ! what a death-stroke 
Awaits thee !— No ! She never will survive it. 



Ah. 



Countess. 
She will accommodate her soul to that 
Which is and must be. I do know your mother. 
The far-off future weighs upon her heart 
With torture of anxiety ; but is it 
Unalterably, actually present, 
She soon resigns herself, and bears it calmly. 

Thekla. 

my foreboding bosom ! Even now, 
E'en now 'tis here, that icy hand of horror ! 
And my young hope lies shuddering in its grasp. 

1 knew it well — no sooner had I entered, 
A heavy, ominous presentiment 

Revealed to me, that spirits of death were hov'ring 
Over my happy fortune. But why think I 
First of myself ? My mother ! O my mother 1 



5&0 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Countess. 
Calm yourself ! Break not out in vain lamenting ! 
Preserve you for your father the firm friend, 
And for yourself the lover ; all will yet 
Prove good and fortunate. 

Thekla. 

Prove good % What good ? 
Must we not part? Part ne'er to meet again ? 

Countess. 
He parts not from you I He can not part from you. 

Thekla. 
Alas for his sore anguish ! It will rend 
His heart asunder. 

Countess. 
If indeed he loves you, 
His resolution will be speedily taken. 

Thekla. 
His resolution will be speedily taken— 
O do not doubt of that ! A resolution ! 
Does there remain one to be taken ! 

Countess. 

Hush ! 
Collect yours. I hear your mother coming. 

Thekla. 
How shall I bear to see her ? 

Countess.. 

Collect yourself. 

SCENE III. 

To them enter the Duchess. 

Duchess, {to the Countess.) 

Who was here, sister ? I hear some one talking, 
And passionately too. 

Countess. 

Nay ! There was no one. 



THE DEA TH OF WALLENSTEW. 5 G l 



Duchess. 
I am grown so timorous, every trifling noise 
Scatters my spirits, and announces to me 
The footstep of some messenger of evil. 
And can you tell me, sister, what the event is ? 
Will he agree to do the Emperor's pleasure, 
And send th' horse-regiments to the Cardinal ; 
Tell me. has he dismissed Von Questenberg 
With a favorable answer ? 

Countess. 

No, he has not. 

Duchess. 
Alas ! then all is lost ! I see it coming, 
The worst that can come ! Yes, they will depose him ; 
The accursed business of the Regenspurg diet 
Will all be acted o'er again ! 

Countess. 

No ! never ! 
Make your heart easy, sister, as to that. 

[Thekla, in extreme agitation, throws herself upon 
her mother, and enfolds her in her arms, weeping. 

Duchess. 
Yes, my poor child ! 

Thou too hast lost a most affectionate godmother 
In th' empress. O that stern unbending man ! 
In this unhappy marriage what have I 
Not suffered, not endured. For ev'n as if 
I had been linked on to some wheel of fire, 
That restless, ceaseless, whirls impetuous onward, 
I have past a life of frights and horrors with him, 
And ever to the brink of some abyss 
With dizzy headlong violence he whirls me. 
Nay, do not weep, my child ! Let not my sufferings 
Presignify unhappiness to thee, 

Nor blacken with their shade, the fate that waits thee. 
There lives no second Friedland : thou, my child, 
Hast not to fear thy mother's destiny. 

Thekla. 

O let us supplicate him, dearest mother! 
Quick ! quick ! here's no abiding place for us. 
Here every coming hour broods into life 
Some new aif rightful monster. 

36 



562 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Duchess. 

Thou wilt share 
An easier, calmer lot, my child ! We too, 
I and thy father, witness happy days. 
Still think I with delight of those first years, 
When he was making progress with glad effort, 
When his ambition was a genial fire, 
Not that consumingyfame which now it is. 
The Emperor loved him, trusted him ; and all 
He undertook, could not but be successful. 
But since that ill-starred day at Regenspurg, 
Which plunged him headlong from his dignity, 
A gloomy uncompanionable spirit, 
Unsteady and suspicious, has possessed him, 
His quiet mind forsook him, and no longer 
Did he yield up himself in joy and faith 
To his old luck, and individual power : 
But thenceforth turned his heart and best affections 
All to those cloudy sciences, which never 
Have yet made happy him who followed them. 

Countess. 
You see it, sister ! as your eyes permit yon, 
But surely this is not the conversation 
To pass the time in which we are waiting for him. 
You know he will be soon here. Would you have him 
Find her in this condition ! 

Duchess. 
Come, my child ! 
Come, wipe away thy tears, and show thy father 
A cheerful countenance. See, the tie-knot here 
Is off — this hair must not hang so dishevelled. 
Come, dearest ! dry thy tears up. They deform 
Thy gentle eye — well now — what was I saying ? 
Yes, in good truth, this Piccolomini 
Is a most noble and deserving gentleman. 

Countess. 
That is he, sister ! 

Thekla. {to the Countess, with marks of great oppression of 

spirits.) 
Aunt, you will excuse me ? [Is going, 

Countess. 
But whither ? Sec, your father comes. 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 5 6 3 



Thekla. 
I cannot see hi in now. 

Countess. 
Nay, but bethink you. 

Thekla. 
Believe me, I cannot sustain his presence. 

Countess. 
But he will miss you, will ask after you. 

Duchess. 
What now? Why is she going ? 

Countess. 

She's not well. 

Duchess. 
What ails then my beloved child ? {anxiously.) 

[Both follow the Princess, and endeavor to detain her. 
During this Wa lenstein appears, engaged in con- 
versation with Illo. 

SCENE IV. 

Wallenstein, Illo, Countess, Duchess, Thekla. 

Wallenstein. 
All quiet in the camp ? 

Illo. 
It is all quiet. 

Wallenstein. 
In a few hours nay couriers come from Prague 
With tidings that this capital is ours. 
Then we may drop the mask, and to the troops 
Assembled in this town, make known the measure 
And its result together. In such cases 
Example does the whole. Whoever is foremost 
Still leads the herd. An imitative creature 
Is man. The troops at Prague conceive no other, 
Than that the Pilsen army has gone through 
The forms of homage to us ; and in Pilsen 
They shall answer fealty to us, because 



5 H COLEkTDGE\S POEMS. 

The example has been given them by Prague. 
Butler, you tell me, has declared himself. 

Illo. 

At his own bidding, unsolicited, 

He came to offer you himself and regiment. 

Wallenstein. 

I find we must not give implicit credence 

To every warning voice that makes itself 

Be listened to in th' heart. To hold us back, 

Oft does the lying spirit counterfeit 

The voice of truth and inward revelation, 

Scatt'ring false oracles. And thus have I 

To entreat forgiveness, for that secretly 

I've wronged this honorable gallant man, 

This Butler : for a feeling, of the which 

I am not master {fear I would not call it), 

Creeps o'er me instantly, with sense of shudd'ring, 

At his approach, and stops love's joyous motion. 

And this same man, against whom I was warned, 

This honest man is he, who reaches to me 

The first pledge of my fortune. 

Illo. 

And doubt not 
That this example will win over to you 
The best men in the army. 

Wallenstein. 

Go and send 
Isolani hither. Send him immediately. 
He is under recent obligations to me. 

With him will'I commence the trial. Go. [Exit Ufa 

Wallenstein. (turns himself round to the females.) 
Lo, there the mother with the darling daughter, 
For once we'll have an interval of rest — 
Come ! my heart yearns to live a cloudless hour 
In the beloved circle of my family. 

Countess. 
s Tis long since we've been thus together, brother. 

Wallenstein. {to the Countess, aside.) 
Can she sustain the news ? Is she prepared ? 






TttR DEA TH OF lVALLEA r STE/M 565 

Countess. 
Not yet. 

Wallenstein. 
Come here, my sweet girl ! Seat thee by me, 
For there is a good spirit on thy lips. 
Thy mother praised to me thy ready skill : 
She says a voice of melody dwells in thee, 
Which doth enchant the soul. Now such a voice 
Will drive away for me the evil demon 
That beats his black wings close above my head. 

Duchess. 
Where is thy lute, my daughter ? Let thy father 
Hear some small trial of thy skill. 

Thekla. 

My mother I 

Duchess. 
Trembling ? Come, collect thyself Go, cheer 
Thy father. 

Thekla. 
O my mother ! I — I cannot. 

Countess. 
How, what is that, niece ? 

Thekla. {to the Countess.) 
O spare me — sing — now — in this sore anxiety 
Of the o'erburthened soul — to sing to him, 
Who is thrusting, even now, my mother headlong 
Into her grave. 

Duchess. 
How, Thekla ? Humorsome ? 
What ! shall thy father have expressed a wish 
In vain ? 

Countess. 
Here is the lute. 

Thekla. 

My Cod ! how can I — 
[The orchestra plays. During the ritornello, Thekla expresses, 
in her gestures and countenance, the struggle of her feelings ,• 



566 €OLERIDGES POEMS. 



and at the moment that she should begin to sing, contracts 
herself together, as one shuddering, throws the instrument 
down, and retires abruptly. 

Duchess. 
My child ! O she is ill — 

Wallenstein. 
What ails the maiden ? 
Say, is she often so ? 

Countess. 
Since, then, herself 
Has now betrayed it, I too must no longer 
Conceal it. 

Wallenstein. 
What? 

Countess. 
She loves him ! 



Wallenstein. 



Loves him ! Whom ? 



Countess. 
Max. does she love ! Max. Piccolomini. 
Hast thou ne'er noticed it ? Nor yet my sister ? 

Duchess. 
Was it this that lay so heavy on her heart ? 
God's blessing on thee, my sweet child ! Thou need'st 
Never take shame upon thee for thy choice. 

Countess. 
This journey, if 'twere not thy aim, ascribe it 
To thine own self. Thou should'st have chosen another 
To have attended her. 

Wallenstein. 

And does he know it ? 

Countess. 
Yes, and he hopes to win her. 

Wallenstein. 

Hopes to win her ! 
Is the boy mad ? 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 567 

Countess. 
Well — hear it from themselves. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

He thinks to carry off Duke Friedland's daughter ? 

Ay ? — the thought pleases me. 

The young man has no grovelling spirit 

Countess. 

Since 
Such and such constant favor you have shown him. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

He chooses finally to be my heir. 

And true it is, I love the youth ; yea, honor him. 

But must he, therefore, be my daughter's husband? 

Is it daughters only ? Is it only children 

That we must show our favor by ? 

Duchess. 
His noble disposition and his manners — 

WALLENSTEIN. 

Win him my heart, but not my daughter. 

Duchess. 

Then 

His rank, his ancestors — 

WALLENSTEIN. 

Ancestors ! What ! 
He is a subject ; and my son-in-law 
I will seek out upon the thrones of Europe. 

Duchess. 
dearest Albrecht ! Climb we not too high, 
Lest we should fall too low. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

What ? have I paid 
A price so heavy to ascend this eminence, 
And jut out high above the common herd, 
Only to close the mighty part I play 
In life's great drama, with a common kinsman ? 
Have I for this — [stops suddenly, repressing himself 

She is the only thing 
That will remain behind of me on earth ; 



568 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



And I will see a crown around her head, 

Or die in the attempt to place it there. 

I hazard all — all ! and for this alone, 

To lift her into greatness — 

Yea, in this moment, in the which we are speaking — 

[he recollects himself* 
And I must now, like a soft-hearted father, 
Couple together in good peasant fashion 
The pair, that chance to suit each other's liking — 
And I must do it now, ev'n now, when I 
Am stretching out the wreath, that is to twine 
My full accomplished work — no ! she is the jewel, 
Which I have treasured long, my last, my noblest, 
And 'tis my purpose not to let her from me 
For less than a king's sceptre. 

Duchess. 

O my husband I 
You're ever building, building to the clouds, 
Still building higher, and still higher building, 
And ne'er reflect, that the poor narrow basis 
Cannot sustain the giddy tottering column. 

Wallenstein. (to the Countess.) 
Have you announced the place of residence 
Which I have destined for her ? 

Countess. 

No ! not yet. 
'Twere better you yourself disclosed it to her. 

Duchess. 
How ? Do we not return to Karri then ? 

Wallenstein. 

No. 

Duchess. 
And to no other of your lands or seats ? 

Wallenstein. 
You would not be secure there. 

Duchess. 

Not secure 
In the Emperor's realms, beneath the Emperor's 
Protection 'I 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEW. 569 



WALLENSTEIN. 
Friedland's wife may be permitted 
No longer to hope that. 

Duchess. 
God in heaven J 
And have you brought it even to this? 

Wallenstein. 

In Holland 
You'll find protection. 

Duchess. 
In a Lutheran country ? 
What ? And you send us into Lutheran countries? 

Wallenstein. 
Duke Franz, of Lauenberg, conducts you thither. 

Duchess. 
Duke Franz of Lauenberg ? 
The ally of Sweden, the Emperor's enemy. 

Wallenstein. 
The Emperor's enemies are mine no longer. 

Duchess, {casting a look of terror on the Duke and the Countess.) 
Is it then true ? It is. You are degraded ? 
Deposed from the command ? O'God in heaven ! 

Countess, {aside to the Duke.) 
Leave her in this belief. 

Thou seest she cannot 
Support the real truth. 



SCENE V. 

To them enter Count Tertsky. 
Countess. 

—Tertsky ! 
What ails him ? What an image of affright 
He looks as he had seen a ghost. 

Tertsky. [J fading Wallenstein aside.) 
Is it thy command that all the Croats — 



57° COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 

Mine! 

Tertsky. 
We are betrayed. 

Wallenstein. 
What? 

Tertsky. 

They are off ! This night 
The Jagers likewise — all the villages 
In the whole round are empty. 

Wallenstein. 

Isolani ? 

Tertsky. 
Him thou hast sent away. Yes, surely. 

Wallenstein. 

I? 
Tertsky. 
No ! Hast thou not sent him'off ? Nor Deodate ? 
They are vanished both of them. 

SCENE VI. 

To them enter Illo. 

Illo. 
Has Tertsky told thee ? 

Tertsky. 
He knows all. 

Illo. 

And likewise 
That Esterhatzy, Goetz, Maradas, Kaunitz, 
Kolatto, Palfi, have forsaken thee? 

Tertsky. 

Damnation I 

Wallenstein. {winks at thnn.) 

Bush J 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEIJV. 57 » 



Countess, {who has been watching them anxiously from the dis- 
tance, and now advances to them.) 
Tertsky ! Heaven ! What is it ? What has happened ? 

Wallenstein. (scarcely suppressing his emotions.) 
Nothing ! let us be gone ! 

Tertsky. [following him.) 

Theresa, it is nothing. 

Countess, {holding him back.) 
Nothing ? Do I not see, that all the life-blood 
Has left your cheeks — look you not like a ghost ? 
That even my brother but affects a calmness ? 

Page, {enters.) 

An aide-de-camp inquires for the Count Tertsky. 

[ Tertsky follows the page. 

Wallenstein. 
Go, hear his business. [to Illo. 

This could not have happened 
So unsuspected without mutiny. 
Who was on guard at the gates ? 

Illo. 

'Twas Tiefenbach. 

Wallenstein. 

Let Tiefenbach leave guard without delay, 

And Tertsky' s grenadiers relieve him. [Illo is going. 

Stop! 
Hast thou heard aught of Butler ? 

Illo. 

Him I met. 
He will be here himself immediately. 
Butler remains unshaken. 

[Illo exit. Wallenstein is following him. 

Countess. 
Let him not leave thee, sister ? go, detain him ! 
There's some misfortune. 

Duchess, (clinging to him.) 
(jracious Heaven ! What is it ? 



5 7 2 COLERJD GK3 POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 
Be tranquil ! leave me, sister ! dearest wife ! 
We are in camp, and this is naught unusual ; 
Here storm and sunshine follow one another 
With rapid interchanges. These fierce spirits 
Champ the curb angrily, and never yet 
Did quiet bless the temples of the leader. 
If I am to stay, go you. The plaints of women 
111 suit the scene where men must act. 

[He is going ; Tertsky returns* 

Tertsky. 
Remain here. From this window must we see it. 

Wallenstein. (to the Countess*) 
Sister, retire ! 

Countess. 
No — never. 

Wallenstein. 

'Tis my will. 

Tertsky. (leads the Countess aside, and drawing her attention 
to the Duchess.) 
Theresa ! 

Duchess. 
Sister, come ! since he commands it. 



SCENE VII. 
Wallenstein, Tertsky. 

Wallenstein. {stepping to the window.) 
What now, then? 

Tertsky. 
There are strange movements among all the troops, 
And no one knows the cause. Mysteriously, 
With gloomy silentness, the several corps 
Marshal themselves, each under its own banners. 
Tiefen bach's corps make threatening movements ; only 
The Pappenheimers still remain aloof 
In their own quarters, and let no one enter. 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEW. 573 

Wallenstein. 
Does Piccolomini appear among them ? 

Tertsky. 
We are seeking him : he is nowhere to be met with. 

Wallenstein. 
What did the aide-de-camp deliver to you ? 

Tertsky. 
My regiments had despatched him ; yet once more 
They swear fidelity to thee, and wait 
The shout for onset, all prepared, and eager. 

Wallenstein. 
But whence arose this larum in the camp ? 
It should have been kept secret from the army, 
Till fortune had decided for us at Prague. 

Tertsky. 

that thou hadst believed me I Yester-evening 
Did we conjure thee not to let that skulker, 
That fox, Octavio, pass the gates of Pilsen. 
Thou gavest him thy own horses to flee from thee. 

Wallenstein. 
The old tune still ! Now, once for all, no more 
Of this suspicion — it is doting folly. 

Tertsky. 
Thou didst confide in Isolani too ; 
And lo ! he was the first that did desert thee. 

Wallenstein. 
It was but yesterday I rescued him 
From abject wretchedness. Let that go by, 

1 never reckoned yet on gratitude. 
And wherein doth he wrong in going from me? 
He follows still the god whom all his life 
He has worshipped at the gaming table. With 
My fortune, and my seeming destiny, 
He made the bond, and broke it not with me. 
I am but the ship in which his hopes were stowed, 
And with the which well-pleased and confident 
He traversed the open sea ; now he beholds it 
In imminent jeopardy among the coast-rocks, 



574 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

And hurries to preserve his wares. As light 
As the free bird from the hospitable twig 
Where it had nested, he flies off from me : 
No human tie is snapped betwixt us two. 
Yea, he deserves to find himself deceived, 
Who seeks a heart in the unthinking man. 
Like shadows on a stream, the forms of life 
Impress their characters on the smooth forehead, 
Naught sinks into the bosom's silent depth : 
Quick sensibility of pain and pleasure 
Moves the light fluids lightly \ but no soul 
Warmeth the inner frame. 

Tertsky. 

Yet, would I rather 
Trust the smooth brow than that deep-furrow'd one. 



. SCENE VIII. 

Wallenstein, Tertsky, Illo, who enters agitated with ragt. 

Illo. 
Treason and mutiny ! 

Tertsky. 
And what further now ? 

Illo. 
Tiefenbach's soldiers, when I gave the orders 
To go off guard — Mutinous villains ! 

Tertsky. 

Well? 

Wallenstein. 
What followed ? 

Illo. 
They refused obedience to them. 

Tertsky. 
Fire on them instantly ! Give out the order. 

Wallenstein. 
Gently ! What cause did they assign ? 



THE DEATH OF JVALLEJVSTE/AT. 575 

Illo. 

No other, 
They said, head right to issue orders but 
Lieutenant-General Piccolomini. 

Wallenstein. (in a convulsion of agony.) 
What ? How is that ? 

Illo. 
He takes that office on him by commission, 
Under sign-manual of the Emperor. 

Tertsky. 
From th' Emperor — hear'st thou, Duke? 

Illo. 

At his incitement. 
The Generals made that stealthy flight — 

Tertsky. 

Duke ! hear'st thou ? 
Illo. 
Caraffa, too, and Montecuculi, 
Are missing, with six other Generals, 
All whom he had induced tc follow him. 
This plot he has long had in writing by him 
From the Emperor ; but 'twas finally concluded, 
With all the detail of the operation, 
Some days ago with the Envoy Questenberg. 

[Wallenstein sinks down into a chair and covers his face* 

Tertsky. 
O hadst thou but believed me ! 

SCENE IX. 

To them enter the Countess. 

Countess. 

This suspense, 
This horrid fear — I can no longer bear it. 
For Heaven's sake, tell me, what has taken place. 

Illo. 
The regiments are all falling off from us. 



57& . COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Tertsky. 
Octavio Piccolomini is a traitor. 

Countess. 
O my foreboding ! [rushes out of the mom, 

Tertsky. 
Hadst thou but believed me 1 
Now seest thou how the stars have lied to thee. 

Wallenstein. 
The stars lie not ; but we have here a work 
Wrought counter to the stars and destiny. 
The science is still honest : this false heart 
Forces a lie on the truth-telling heaven. 
On a divine law divination rests ; 
Where Nature deviates from that law, and stumbles 
Out of her limits, there all science errs. 
True, I did not suspect ! Were it superstition 
Never by such suspicion t' have affronted 
The human form, O may that time ne'er come 
In which I shame me of th' infirmity. 
The wildest savage drinks not with the victim, 
In whose breast he means to plunge the sword. 
This, this, Octavio, was no hero's deed : 
'T was. not thy prudence that did conquer mine ; 
A bad heart triumphed o'er an honest one. 
No shield received the assassin stroke : thou plungest 
Thy weapon on an unprotected breast — 
Against such weapons I am but a child. 



SCENE X. 

To these enter Butler. 

Tertsky. {meeting him.) 
O look there ! Butler ! Here we've still a friend ! 

Wallenstein. {meets him with outspread arms, and embraces 

him with warmth.) 
Come to my heart, old comrade ! Not the sun 
Looks out upon us more revivingly 
In the earliest month of spring, 
Than a friend's countenance in such an hour. 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEW. . 577 

Butler. 
My General ! I come — 

Wallenstein. (leaning on Butler's shoulder.) 
Know'st thou already ? 
That old man has betrayed me to the Emperor. 
What say'st thou ? Thirty years have we together 
Lived out, and held out, sharing joy and hardship. 
We have slept in one camp-bed, drunk from one glass, 
One morsel shared ! I leaned myself on him, 
As now I lean me on thy faithful shoulder, 
And now, in the very moment when, all love, 
All confidence, my bosom beat to his, 
He sees and takes the advantage, stabs the knife 
Slowly into my heart. [he hides his face in Butler's breast 

Butler. 

Forget the false one. 
What is your present purpose ? 

Wallenstein. 

Well remembered ! 
Courage, my soul ! I am still rich in friends, 
Still loved by destiny ; for in the moment, 
That it unmasks the plotting hypocrite, 
It sends and proves to me one faithful heart. 
Of the hypocrite no more ! Think not, his loss 
Was that which struck the pang : O no ! his treason 
Is that which strikes this pang ! No more of him ! 
Dear to my heart, and honored were they both. 
And the young man — yes — he did truly love me, 
He — he — has not deceived me. But enough, 
Enough of this — Swift counsel now beseems us, 
The courier, whom Count Kinsky sent from Prague, 
I expect him every moment : and whatever 
He may bring with him, we must take good care 
To keep it from the mutineers. Quick, then ! 
Despatch some messenger you can rely on 
To meet him, and conduct him to me. [Illo is going 

Butler, {detaining him.) 
My General, whom expect you then ? 

Wallenstein. 

The courier 
Who brings me word of the event at Prague. 

Butler, {hesitating.) 
Hem! 

37 



57* COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 
And what now ? 

Butler. 

You do not know it ? 

Wallenstein. 

Well? 
Butler. 
From what that larum in the camp arose ? 

Wablenstein. 
From what ? 

Butler. 
That courier — 

Wallenstein. (mith eager expectation.) 
Well? 

Butler. 

Is already here. 

Tertsky and Illo. {at the same time.) 
Already here ? 

Wallenstein. 
My courier ? 

Butler. 
For some hours. 

Wallenstein. 

And I not know it ? 

Butler. 

The sentinels detain him 
In custody. 

Illo. {stamping toith his foot.) 
Damnation ! 

Butler. 

And his letter 
Was broken open, and is circulated 
Through the whole camp. 

Wallenstein. 
You know what it contains ? 



THE DEA TH OE WA LLENS TEW. 579 



Butler. 
Question me not ! 

Tertsky. 
Illo ! alas for us ! 

Wallenstein. 
Hide nothing from me — I can hear the worst. 
Prague then is lost. It is. Confess it freely. 

Butler. 

Yes ! Prague is lost. And all the several regiments 
At Budweiss, Tabor, Braunau, Konigmgratz, 
At Brun, andZnaym, have forsaken you, 
Aud ta'en the oaths of fealty anew 
To the Emperor. Yourself, with Kinsky, Tertsky, 
And Illo, have been sentenced. 

[Tertsky and Illo express alarm and fury. Wallenstein 
remains firm and collected. 

Wallenstein. 

'Tis decided ! 
'Tis well ! I have received a sudden cure 
From all the pangs of doubt : with steady stream 
Once more my life-blood flows ! My soul's secure ! 
In the night only Fried land's stars can beam. 
Ling'ring, irresolute, with fitful fears 
I drew the sword — 'twas with an inward strife, 
While yet the choice was mine. The murd'rous knife 
Is lifted for my heart ! Doubt disappears ! 
I fight now for my head and for my life. 

[Exit Wallenstein, the others follow him. 



SCENE XI. 

Countess Tertsky enters from a side room. 

Countess. 
I can endure no longer. No ! [looks around her 

Where are they ? • 
No one is here. They leave me all alone, 
Alone in this sore anguish of suspense. 
And I must wear th^ outward sh w of calmness 
Before my sister, and shut in within me 
The pangs and agonies of my crowded bosom. 



$So COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

It is not to be borne. — If all should fail ; 

If — if he must go over to the Swedes, 

An empty-handed fugitive, and not 

As an ally, a covenanted equal, 

A proud commander with his army following ; 

If we must wander on from land to land, 

Like the Count Palatine, of fallen greatness 

An ignominious monument — But no ! 

That day I will not see ! And could himself 

Endure to sink so low, I would not bear 

To see him so low sunken. 

SCENE XII 

Countess, Duchess, Thekla. 
Thekla. (endeavoring to hold back the Duchess.) 
Dear mother, do stay here ! 

Duchess. 

No ! Here is yet 
Some frightful mystery that is hidden from me. 
Why does my sister shun me ? Don't I see her 
Full of suspense and anguish roam about 
From room to room ? — Art thou not full of terror ? 
And what import these silent nods and gestures 
Which stealthwise thou exehangest with her ? 

Thekla. 

Nothing j 
Nothing, dear mother ! 

Duchess, (to the Countess.) 
Sister, I will know. 

Countess. 
What boots it now to hide it from her ? Sooner 
Or later she must learn to hear and bear it. 
'Tis not the time now to indulge infirmity ; 
Courage beseems us now, a heart collect, 
And exercise and previous discipline 
Of fortitude.. One word, and over with it ! 
Sister, you are deluded. You believe, 
The Duke has been deposed — The Duke is not 

Deposed — he is 

Thekla. (going to the Countess.) 

What ? do you wish to kill her? 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEHST. 581 

Countess. 
The Duke is 

Thekla. [throwing her arms around her mother.) 

O stand firm ! stand firm, my mother J 

Countess. 
Revolted is the Duke, he is preparing 
To join the enemy ; the army leave him, 
And all has failed. 

[During these words the Duchess totters, and falls in a faint 
ing fit into the arms of her daughter. While Thekla is 
calling for help, the cur lain drops. 



ACT II. 

Scene — A spacious room in the Duke of Friedland's palace, 
SCENE I. 

Wallenstein. (in armor.) 
Thou hast gained thy point, Octavio ! Once more am I 
Almost as friendless as at Regenspurg ; 
There I had nothing left me, but myself — 
But what one man can do, you have now experience. 
The twigs have you hewed off, and here I stand 
A leafless trunk. But in the sap within 
Lives the creating power, and a new world 
May sprout forth from it. Once already have I 
Proved myself worth an army to you — I alone ! 
Before the Swedish strength your troops had melted ; 
Beside the Lech sank Tilly, your last hope ; 
Into Bavaria, like a winter torrent, 
Did that Gustavus pour, and at Vienna 
In his own palace did the Emperor tremble. 
Soldiers were scarce, for still the multitude 
Follow the luck : all eyes were turned on me, 
Their helper in distress : the Emperor's pride 
Bowed itself down before the man he had injured. 
'Twas I must rise, and with creative word 
Assemble forces in the desolate camps. 



582 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



T did it. Like a god of war, my name 

Weiit thro' the world. The drum was beat — and, lol 

The plough, the workshop is forsaken, all 

Swarm to the old familiar, long-loved banners ; 

And as the wood-choir rich in melody 

Assemble quick around the bird of wonder, 

When first his throat swells with his magic song, 

So did the warlike youth of Germany 

Crowd in, around the image of my eagle. 

I feel myself the being that I was. 

It is the soul that builds itself a body ; 

And Friedland's camp will not remain unfilled. 

Lead then your thousands out to meet me — true ! 

They are accustomed under me to conquer, 

But not against me. If the head and limbs 

Separate from each other, 'twill be soon 

Made manifest, in which the soul abode. 

[Tllo and Tertsky enter. 
Courage, friends ! Courage ! We are still unvanquished ; 
I feel my footing firm ; five regiments, Tertsky, 
Are still our own, and Butler's gallant troops ; 
And a host of sixteen thousand Swedes to-morrow. 
I was not stronger, when nine years ago 
I marched forth, with glad heart and high of hope, 
To conquer Germany for the Emperor. 

SCENE II. 

Wallenstein Illo, Tertsky. (To them enter Neumann, wM 
leads Tertsky aside, and talks with him.) 



What do they want ? 



Tertsky. 

Wallenstein. 
What now ? 



Tertsky. 

Ten Cuirassiers. 
From Pappenheim request leave to address you 
In the name of the regiment. 

Wallenstein. (hastily, to Neumann.) 
Let them enter. 

[Exit Neumann 
This 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEIN. 583 



May end in something — Mark you. They are still 
Doubtful, and may be won. 



SCENE in. 

Wallenstein, Tertrky, Tllo, Ten Cuirassiers (led by an 
Anspessade,* march up and arrange themselves, after the 
word of command, in one front before the Duke, and make 
their obeisances. He takes his hat off, and immediately covers 
himself again.) 

Anspessade. 
Halt ! Front ! Present ! 

Wallenstein. {after he has run through them with his eye, to 
the Anspessade.) 
I know thee well. Thou art out of Briiggin in Flanders • Thy 
name is Mercy. 

Anspessade. 
Henry Mercy. 

Wallenstein. 
Thou wert cut off on the march, surrounded by the Hessians, 
and didst fight thy way with a hundred and eighty men through 
their thousand. 

Anspessade. 
'Twas even so, General ! 

"Wallenstein. 
"What reward hast thou for this gallant exploit ? 

Anspessade. 
That which I asked for : the honor to serve in this corps. 

Wallenstein. {turning to a second.) 
Thou wert among the volunteers that seized and made booty 
of the Swedish battery at Altenburg. 

Second Cuirassier. 
Yes, General ! 

Wallenstein. 
I forget no one with whom I have exchanged words, {a $)ause.) 
Who sends you ? 

* Anspessade, in German, Gefreiter, a soldier inferior to a corporal, but above the 
sentinels. The German name implies that he is exempt from mounting guard. 



5S4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

ANSPESSADE. 

Your noble regiment, the Cuirassiers of Piccolomini. 

Wallenstein. 
Why does not your colonel deliver in your request, according 
to the custom of service ? 

Anspessade. 
Because we would first know whom we serve. 

Wallenstein. 
Begin your address. 

Anspessade. (giving the word of command.) 
Shoulder your arms ! 

Wallenstein. {turning to a third.) 
Thy name is Risbeck, Cologne is thy birth-place. 

Third Cuirassier. 
Risbeck of Cologne. 

Wallenstein. 
It was thou that broughtest in the Swedish colonel, Diebald, 
prisoner, in the camp at Niiremburg. 

Third Cuirassier. 
It was not I, General ! 

Wallenstein. 
Perfectly right ! It was thy elder brother ; thou hadst a 
younger brother too : where did he stay ? 

Third Cuirassier. 
He is stationed at Olmutz with the Imperial army. 

Wallenstein. {to the Anspessade.) 
Now then — begin. 

Anspessade. 
There came to hand a letter from the Emperor 
Commanding us 

Wallenstein. {interrupting him.) 
Who chose you ? 

Anspessade. 

Every company 
Drew its own man by lot. 



THE DBA TH OF Wf.LLENSTETN. 5%fi 



Wallenstein. 

Now ! to the business, 

Anspessade. 
There came to hand a letter from the Emperor 
Commanding us collectively, from thee 
All duties of obedience to withdraw, 
Because thou wert an enemy and traitor. 

Wallenstein. 
And what did you determine ? 

Anspessade. 

All our comrades 
At Brannau, Budweiss, Prague, and Olmutz, have 
Obeyed already, and the regiments here, 
Tiefenbach and Toscana, instantly 
Did follow their example. But — but we 
Do not believe that thou art an enemy 
And traitor to thy country, hold it merely 
For lie and trick, and a trumped up Spanish story ! 

[With warmth, 
Thyself shalt tell us what thy purpose is, 
For we have found thee still sincere and true : 
No mouth shall interpose itself betwixt 
The gallant General and the gallant troops. 

Wallenstein. 
Therein I recognize my Pappenheimers. 

Anspessade. 
And this proposal makes thy regiment to thee: 
Is it thy purpose merely to preserve 
In thy own hands this military sceptre, 
Which so becomes thee, which the Emperor 
Made over to thee by a covenant ; 
Is it thy purpose merely to remain 
Supreme commander of the Austrian armies ; 
We will stand by thee, General ! and guarantee 
Thy honest rights against all opposition. 
And should it chance, that all the other regiments 
Turn from thee, by ourselves will we stand forth 
Thy faithful soldiers, and, as is our duty, 
Far rather let ourselves be cut to pieces, 
Than suffer thee to fall. But if it be 
As the Emperor's letter says, if it be true, 



5^6 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

That thou in trait'rous wise wilt lead us over 
To the enemy, which God in heaven forbid ! 
Then we too will forsake thee, and obey 
That letter 

Wallensteij*. 
Hear me, children ! 

Anspessade. 

Yes, or no ! 
There needs no other answer. 

Wallenstein. 

Yield attention. 
You're men of sense, examine for yourselves-; 
Ye think, and do not follow with the herd : 
And therefore have I always shown you honor 
Above all others ; suffered you to reason ; 
Have treated you as free men, and my orders 
Were but the echoes of your prior suffrage.-— 

Anspessj\de. 
Most fair and noble has thy conduct been 
To us, my General ! With thy confidence 
Thou hast honored us, and shown us grace and favor 
Beyond all other regiments j and thou seest 
We follow not the common herd. We will 
Stand by thee faithfully. Speak but one word — 
Thy word shall satisfy us, that it is not 
A treason which thou meditatest — that 
Thou meanest not to lead the army over 
To the enemy ; nor e'er betray thy country. 

Wallenstein. 
Me, me, are they betraying. Th' Emperor 
Hath sacrificed me to my enemies ; 
And I must fall, unless my gallant troops 
Will rescue me. See ! I confide in you. 
And be your hearts my stronghold ! At this breast 
The aim is taken, at this hoary head. 
This is your Spanish gratitude, this is our 
Requital for that murderous fight at Liitzen ! 
For this we threw the naked breast against 
The halbert, made for this the frozen earth 
Our bed, and the hard stone our pillow ! never stream 
Too rapid for us, no wood too impervious ; 
With cheerful spirit we pursued that Mansfield 



THE BE A TH OF WALLENSTEIN. 5 8 7 

Through all the turns and windings of his flight ; 
Yea, our whole life was but one restless march ; 
And homeless, as the stirring wind, we travelled 
O'er the war-wasted earth. . And now, even now, 
That we have well-nigh finished the hard toil, 
The unthankful, the curse-laden toil of weapons, 
With faithful indefatigable arm 
Have rolled the heavy war-load up the hill, 
Behold ! this boy of the Emperor's bears away 
The honors of the peace, an easy prize ! 
He'll wave, forsooth, into his flaxen locks 
The olive branch, the hard-earned ornament 
Of this gray head, grown gray beneath the helmet. 

Anspessade. 
That shall he not, while we can hinder it ! 
No one, but thou, who hast conducted it 
With fame, shall end this war, this frightful war ! 
Thou led'st us out into the bloody field 
Of death, thou, and no other, shalt conduct us home, 
Rejoicing to the lovely plains of peace — 
Shalt share with us the fruits of the long toil. — 

Wallenstein. 
What ? Think you then at length in late old age 
To enjoy the fruits of toil ? Believe it not. 
Never, no never, will you see the end 
Of the contest ! you and me, and all of us, 
This war will swallow up ! War, war, not peace, 
Is Austria's wish ; and therefore, because I 
Endeavored after peace, therefore I fall. 
For what cares Austria how long the war 
Wears out the armies and lays waste the world ? 
She will but wax and grow amid the ruin, 
And still win new domains. 

[The Cuirassiers express agitation by their gestures* 
Ye're moved — I see 
A noble rage flash from your eyes, ye warriors ! 
Oh that my spirit might possess you now, 
Daring as once it led you to the battle I 
Ye would stand by me with your veteran arms, 
Protect me in my rights ; and this is noble ! 
But think not that you can accomplish it, 
Your scanty number ! to no purpose will you 
Have sacrificed you for your General. [Confidentially. 

No ! let us tread securely, seek for friends ; 



5^ COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



The Swedes have proffered ns assistance, let us 
Wear for a while the appearance of good will, 
And use them for our profit, till we both 
Carry the fate of Europe in our hands, 
And from our camp to the glad jubilant world 
Lead peace forth with the garland on her head ! 

Anspessade. 

'Tis then but mere appearances which thou 
Dost put on with the Swede ? Thou'lt not betray 
The Emperor ? Wilt not turn us into Swedes ? 
This is the only thing which we desire 
To learn from thee. 

Wallenstein. 

What care I for the Swedes? 
I hate them as I hate the pit of hell, 
And, under Providence, I trust right soon 
To chase them to their homes across the Baltic. 
My cares are only for the whole : I have 
A heart — it bleeds within me for the miseries 
And piteous groaning of my fellow Germans. 
Ye are but common men, but yet ye think 
With minds not common ; ye appear to me 
Worthy before all others, that I whisper ye 
A little word or two in confidence ! 
See now ! already for full fifteen years 
The war-torch has continued burning, yet 
No rest, no pause of conflict. Swede and German I 
Papist and Lutheran ! neither will give way 
To the other, every hand's against the other. 
Each one is party and no one a judge. 
Where shall this end ? Where's he that will unravel 
This tangle, ever tangling more and more. 
It must be cut asunder. 
J feel that 1 am the man of destiny, 
iiiid trust, with your assistance, to accomplish it. 



SCENE IV. 

To these enter Butler. 

Butler, {passionately.) 
General ! This is not right ! 



Wallenstein. 

What is not right? 
Butler. 
It must need injure us with all honest men. 

Wallenstein. 
But what? 

Of insurrection. 



Butler. 
It is an open proclamation 



Wallenstein. 
Well, well— but what is it? 
Butler. 
Count Tertsky's regiments tear the T^ r>er ial Eagle 
From off the banners, and instead ot u ■ 
Have reared aloft thy arms. 

Anspessade. {abruptly to the Cuirassiers.) 
Right about ! March ! 

Wallenstein. 
Cursed be this counsel, and accursed who gave it ! 

[To the Cuirassiers, who are retiring. 
Halt, children, halt. There's some mistake in this ! 
Hark ! — I will punish it severely. Stop ! 
They do not hear. {To Illo.) Go after them, assure them, 
And bring them back to me, cost what it may. 

[Illo hurries out. 
This hurls us headlong. Butler ! Butler ! 
You are my evil genius, wherefore must you 
Announce it in their presence ? It was all 
In a fair way. They were half won, those madmen. 
With their improvident over-readiness — 
A cruel game is fortune playing with me. 
The zeal of friends it is that razes me, 
And not the hate of enemies. 

SCENE V. 

To these ent&r the Duchess, who rushes into the chamber. Thekla 
and the Countess follow her. 

Duchess. 

Albrecht ! 
What hast thou done ? 



590 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Wallenstein. 

And now comes this beside. 

Countess. 
Forgive me, brother ! It was not in my power. 
They know all. 

Duchess. 

What hast thou done ? 

Countess, (to Tertsky.) 
Is there no hope ? Is all lost utterly ? 

Tertsky. 
All lost. No hope. Prague in the Emperor's hands, 
The soldiery have ta'en their oaths anew. 

Countess. 
That lurking hypocrite, Octavio. 
Count Max. is off too ? 

Tertsky. 

Where can he be ? He's 
Gone over to the Emperor with his father. 

[Thekla rushes out into the arms of her mother, hiding her face 
in her bosom. 

Duchess, (infolding her in her arms.) 
Unhappy child ! and more unhappy mother ! 

Wallenstein. (aside to Tertsky.) 
Quick ! Let a carriage stand in readiness 
Jn the court behind the palace. Scherfenberg 
Be their attendant ; he is faithful to us ; 
To Egra he'll conduct them, and we follow 

[To Illo who returns. 
Thou hast not brought them back ? 

Illo. 

Hear'st thou the uproar ? 
The whole corps of the Pappenheimers is 
Drawn out : the younger Piccolomini, 
Their colonel, they require ; for they affirm, 
That he is in the palace here, a prisoner ; 
And if thou dost not instantly deliver him, 
They will find means to free him with the sword. 

[All stand amazed. 



Tertsky. 
What shall we make of this ? 

Wallenstein. 

Said I not so I 

my prophetic heart ! he is still here. 

He has not betrayed me — he could not betray me. 

1 never doubted it. 

Countess. 

If he be 
Still here, then all goes well ! for I know what 

[embracing Thekla. 
Will keep him here forever. 

Tertsky. 

It can't be. 
His father has betrayed us, is gone over 
To the Emperor — the son could not have ventured 
To stay behind. 

Thekla. (her eye fixed on the door.) 
There he is I 

SCENE VI. 

To these enter Max. Piccolomini. 

Max. 

Yes ! here he is ! I can endure no longer 

To creep on tiptoe around this house, and lurk 

In ambush for a favorable moment. 

This loitering, this suspense, exceeds my powers. 

[Advancing to Thekla, who has thrown herself into her mother's 
arms. 
Turn not thine eyes away. O look upon me ! 
Confess it freely before all. Fear no one. 
Let who will hear that we both love each other. 
Wherefore continue to conceal it ? Secrecy 
Js for the happy — misery, hopeless misery, 
Needeth no veil ! Beneath a thousand suns 
It dares act openly. 

[He observes the Countess looking on Thekla with expressions of 
triumph. 



59 2 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



No, Lady ! No. 
Expect not, hope it not. I am not come 
To stay : to bid farewell, farewell forever, 
For this I come ! 'Tis over ! I must leave thee ! 
Thekla, I must — must leave thee ! Yet thy hatred 
Let me not take with me. I pray thee, grant me 
One look of sympathy, only one look. 
Say that thou dost not hate me. Say it to me, Thekla ! 

[Grasps her hand. 

God ! I cannot leave this spot — I cannot. 
Cannot let go this hand. O tell me, Thekla ! 
That thou dost suffer with me, art convinced 
That I can not act otherwise. 

[Thekla, avoiding his look, points with her hand to her father, 
Max. turns round to the Duke, whom he had not till then pen 
ceived. 
Thou here ? It was not thou, whom here I sought. 

1 trusted never more to have beheld thee. 
My business is with her alone. Here will I 
Receive a full acquittal from this heart — 
For any other I'm no more concerned. 

Wallensteiw. 

Think'st thou that, fool-like, I shall let thee go, 

And act the mock-magnanimous with thee ? 

Thy father is become a villain to me ; 

I hold thee for his son, and nothing more ; 

Nor to no purpose shalt tnou have been given 

Into my power. Think not, that I will honor 

That ancient love, which so remorselessly 

He mangled. They are now past by, those hours 

Of friendship and forgiveness. Hate and vougeance 

Succeed — 'tis now their turn — I, too, can throw 

All feelings of the man aside — can prove 

Myself as much a monster as thy father ! 

Max. (calmly.) 

Thou wilt proceed with me as thou hast power. 
Thou know'st, I neither brave nor fear thy rage. 
What has detained me here, that, too, thou know'st. 

[Taking Thekla by the hand* 
See, Duke ! All — all would I have owed to thee, 
Would have received from thy paternal hand 
Th ■> lot of blessed spirits. This hast thou 
Laid waste forever — that concerns not thee. 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 593 



Indifferent thou tramplest in the dust 

Their happiness, who most are thine. The god 

Whom thou dost serve, is no benignant deity. 

Like as the blind, irreconcilable, 

Fierce element, incapable of compact, 

Thy heart's wild impulse only dost thou follow. 

WALLENSTEIN. 

Tliou art describing thy own father's heart. 

The adder ! O, the charms of hell o'erpowered ma. 

He dwelt within me, to my inmost soul 

Still to and fro he passed, suspected never ! 

On the wide ocean, in the starry heaven, 

D'd mine eyes seek the enemy, whom I 

In my heart's heart had folded ! Had I been 

To Ferdinand what Octavio was to me, 

War had I ne'er denounced against him. No, 

I never could have done it. The Emp'ror was 

My austere master only, not my friend. 

There was already war 'twixt him and me, 

When he delivered the commander's staff 

Into my hands \ for there's a natural, 

Unceasing war 'twixt cunning and suspicion ; 

Peace exists only betwixt confidence 

And faith. Who poisons confidence, he murders 

The future generations. 

Max. 
I will not 
Defend my father. Woe is me, I cannot ! 
Hard deeds and luckless have ta'en place ; one criine* 
Drags after it the other in close link. 
But we are innocent : how have we fallen 
Into this circle of mishap and guilt ? 
To whom have we been faithless ? Wherefore must 
The evil deeds and guilt reciprocal 
Of our two fathers, twine like serpents round us? 

Why must our fathers' 
Unconquerable hate rend us asunder, 
Who love each other? 

WALLENSTEIN. 

Max., remain with me. 
Go you not from me, Max. ! Hark ! I will tell thee 
How when at Prague, our winter quarters thou 
Wert brought into my tent a tender boy 
Not yet accustomed to the German winters \ 

38 



594 COLERIDGE V9 POEMS- 



Thy hand was frozen to the heavy colors ; 

Thou would 'st not let them go — 

At that time did I take thee in my arms, 

And with my mantle did I cover thee : 

I was thy nurse, no woman could have been 

A kinder to thee ! I was not ashamed 

To do for thee all little offices, 

However strange to me ; I tended thee 

Till life returned ; and when thine eyes first opened, 

I had thee in my arms. Since then, when have I 

Altered my feelings toward thee? Many thousands 

Have I made rich, presented them with lands ; 

Rewarded them with dignities and honors ; 

Thee have I loved ; my heart, my self, I gave 

To thee ! They all were aliens : Thou wert 

Our child and inmate.* Max. ! thou canst not leave me I 

It cannot be : I may not, will not think 

That Max. can leave me. 

Max. 

O my God ! 

Wallenstein. 

I have 
Held and sustained thee from thy tottering childhood. 
What holy bond is there of natural love, 
What human tie, that does not knit thee to ine ? 
I love thee, Max. ! What did thy father for thee, 
Which I too have not done to the height of duty ? 
Go hence, forsake me, serve thy Emperor ; 
He will reward thee with a pretty chain 
Of gold, with his lamb's fleece will he reward thee ; 
For that the friend, the father of thy youth, 
For that the holiest feeling of humanity, 
Was nothing worth to thee. 

Max. 

God ! How can I 
Do otherwise ? Am I not forced to do it ? 
My oath — my duty — honor — 

Wallenstein. 

How? Thy duty? 
Duty to whom ? Who art thou ? Max. ! bethink thee 

* This is a poor and inadequate translation of the affectionate simplicity of the 
original— 

Sie alle waren Fremdlinge, Da warst 
Das Kind des Hauses. 

Indeed the whole speech is in the best style of Massiuger. O si sic omnia f 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEW. 595 



What duties may'st thou have ? If I am acting 
A criminal part toward the Emperor, 
It is my crime, not thine. Dost thou belong- 
To thine own self ? Art thou thine own commander ? 
Stand 'st thou, like me, a freeman in the world, 
That in thy actions thou should'st plead free agency ? 
On me thou'rt planted ; I am thy Emperor : 
To obey me, to belong to me, this is 
Thy honor, this a law of nature to thee ! 
And if the planet, on the which thou liv'st 
And hast thy dwelling, from its orbit starts, 
It is not in thy choice, whether or no 
Thou'lt follow it. Unfelt it whirls thee onward 
Together with his ring and all his moons. 
With little guilt stepp'st thou into this contest 
Thee will the world not censure, it will praise thee, 
For that thou held'st thy friend more worth to thee 
Than names and influences more removed. 
For justice is the virtue of the ruler, 
Affection and fidelity the subject's. 
Not every one doth it beseem to question 
The far-off high Arcturus. Most securely 
Wilt thou pursue the nearest duty — let 
The pilot fix his eye upon the pole-star. 



SCENE VII. ' 

To these enter Neumann. 

Wallenstein. 
What now ? 

Neumann. 
The Pappenheimers are dismounted, 
And are advancing now on foot, determined, 
With sword in hand, to storm the house, and free 
The Count, their colonel. 

Wallenstein. (to Tertsky.) 

Have the cannon planted. 
I will receive them with chain-shot. [Exit Tertsky^ 

Prescribe to me with sword in hand ! Go Neumann ! 
'Tis my command that they retreat this moment, 
And in their ranks in silence wait my pleasure. 

[Neumann exit. Illo steps to the window. 



59C COLERIDGE^ POEMS. 

Countess. 
Let. him go, I entreat thee, let him go. 

Illo. (at the window.) 
i ell and perdition ! 

WALLENSTEINr 

What is it ? 

Illo. 
They scale the council-house, the roofs uncovered. 
They level at this house the cannon — 

Max. 

Madmen J 
Illo. 
They are making preparation now to fire on us. 

Duchess and Countess. 
Merciful Heaven ! 

Max. (to Wallenstein.) 

Let me go to them ! 

Wallenstein. 

Not a step ! 

Max. (pointing to Thekla and the Duchess.) 
But their life!' Thine! 

Wallenstein. 
What tidings bring' st thou, Tertsky F 

SCENE VIII. 

To these Tertsky. (returning.) 

Tertsky. 
Message and greeting from our faithful reg'ments. 
Their ardor may no longer be curbed in. 
They entreat permission to commence th' attack, 
And if thou would'st but give the word of onset, 
They could now charge the enemy in rear, 
Into the city wedge them, and with ease 
O'erpower them in the narrow streets. 

Illo. 

O come ? 



Let not their ardor cool. The soldiery 

Of Butler's corps stand by us faithfully ; 

We are the greater number. Let us charge them, 

And finish here in Pilsen the revolt. 

Wallenstein. 
What ? shall this town become a field of slaughter 
And brother-killing discord, fire-eyed, 
Be let loose through its streets to roam and rage? 
Shall the decision be delivered over 
To deaf remorseless rage, that hears no leader ? 
Here is no room for battle, only for butchery. 
Well, let it be. I have long thought of it, 
So let it burst then. [turns to Maa\ 

Well, how is it with thee ? 
Wilt thou attempt a heat with me. Away ! 
Thou art free to go. Oppose thyself to me, 
Front against front, and lead them to the battle ; 
Thou'rt skill'd in war, thou hast learned somewhat under me ; 
I n«*ed not be ashamed of my opponent, 
And never hadst thou fairer opportunity 
To pay me for thy schooling. 

Countess. 
Is it then, 
Can I have come to this ? — What ! cousin, cousin ! 
Have you the heart ? 

Max. 

The regiments that are trusted to my care 

I have pledged my troth to bring away from Pilsen 

True to the Emperor, and this promise will I 

Make good, or perish. More than this no duty 

Requires of me. I will not fight against thee, 

Unless compelled ; for though an enemy, 

Thy head is holy to me still. 

[Two reports of cannon ; Mo and Tertsky hurry to the u>*nJow, 

Wallenstein. 
What's that ? 

Tertsky. 
He falls. 

Wallenstein. 

Falls! Who? 



59^ COLEkWG&S POEMS. 



ILLO. 

Tiefenback's corps 
Discharged the ordnance. 

Wallenstein. 
Upon whom ? 

Illo. 

On Neumann. 
Your messenger. 

Wallenstein. {starting up.) 

Ha ! Death and hell ! I will— 
Tertsky. 
Expose thyself to their blind frenzy ? 

Duchess and Countess. 
No I 
For God's sake, No ! 

Illo. 
Not yet, my General I 

Countess. 
O, hold him I hold him ! 

Wallenstein. 
Leave me 

Max. 

Do it not ; 
Not yet I This rash and bloody deed has thrown them 
Into a frenzy-fit — allow them time 

Wallenstein. 
Away ! too long already have I loitered. 
They are emboldened to these outrages, 
Beholding not my face. They shall behold 

My countenance, shall hear my voice 

Are they not my troops ? Am I not their General 

And their long-feared commander? Let me see, 

Whether indeed they do no longer know 

That countenance, which was their sun in battle ! 

From the balcony (mark !) I show myself 

To those rebellious forces, and at once 

Revolt is mounded, and the high-swoln current 

Shrinks back into the old bed of obedience. 

[Exit Wallenstein ; Illo, Tertsky, and Butler follow* 



THE DEA TH OF WALLENSTEIN. 599 



SCENE IX. 

Countess, Duchess, Max., Thekla. 

Countess, {to the Duchess.) * 

Let them bu see him — there is hope still, sister. 

Duchess. 
Hope ! I have none ! 

Max. {who during the last scene has been standing at a distance 
in a visible struggle of feelings, advances.) 
This can I not endure. 
With most determined soul did I come hither, 
My purposed action seemed unblameable 
To my own conscience — and I must stand her« 
Like one abhorred, a hard inhuman being ; 
Yea, loaded with the curse of all I love ! 
Must see all whom I love in this sore anguish, 
Whom I, with one word, can make happy — O ! 
My heart revolts within me, and two voices 
Make themselves audible within my bosom. 
My soul's benighted ; I no longer can 
Distinguish the right track. O, well and truly 
Didst thou say, father, I relied too much 
On my own heart. My mind moves to and fro — - 
I know not what to do. 

Countess. 

What ! you know not ? 
Does not your own heart tell you ? O ! then I 
Will tell it you. Your father is a traitor, 
A frightful traitor to us — he has plotted 
Against our General's life, has plunged us all 
In misery — and you're his son ! 'Tis yours 
To make the amends — Make you the son's fidelity 
Outweigh the father's treason, that the name 
Of Piccolomini be not a proverb 
Of infamy, a common form of cursing 
To the posterity of Wallenstein. 

Max. 

Where is that voice of truth which I dare follow ? 



It speaks no longer in my heart. We all 
But utter what our passionate wishes dictate. 
O that an angel would descend from heaven, 



6oo COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



And scoop for me the right, the uncorrupted, 
With a pure hand from the pure Fount of Light. 

[His eyes glance on TheMa. 
What other angel seek I ? To this heart, 
To this unerring heart, will I submit it, 
Will ask thy love, which has the power to bless 
The happy man alone, averted ever 
From the disquieted and guilty — canst thou 
Still love me, if I stay ?— Say that thou canst, 
And I am the Duke's ■ 

Countess. 

Think, niece — 
Max 

Think nothing, Thekla I 
Speak what thou feelest. 

Countess. 

Think upon your father. 
Max. 
I did not question thee as Friedland's daughter. 
Thee, the beloved, and the unerring god 
Within thy heart, I question. What's at stake ? 
Not whether diadem of royalty 
Be to be won or no — that might'st thou think on. 
Thy friend, and his soul's quiet, are at stake ; 
The fortune of a thousand gallant men, 
Who will all follow me : shall I forswear 
My oath and duty to the Emperor ? 
Say, shall I send into Octavio's camp 
The parricidal ball ? For when the ball 
Has left its cannon, and is on its flight, 
It is no longer a dead instrument ; 
It lives, a spirit passes into it, 
The avenging furies seize possession of it, 
And with sure malice guide it the worst way. 

Thekla. 

O ! Max.- 

Max. (interrupting her.) 
Nay, not precipitately either, Thekla. 
I understand thee. To thy noble heart 
The hardest duty might appear the highest. 
The human, riot the great part, would I act. 
Ev'n from my childhood to this present hour, 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 60 1 



Think what the Duke has done for me, how loved me, 

And think, too, how my father has repaid him. 

likewise the free lovely impulses 

Of hospitality, the pious friend's 

Faithful attachment, these, too, are a holy 

Religion to the heart \ and heavily 

The shudderings of nature do avenge 

Themselves on the barbarian that insults them. 

Lay all upon the balance, all — then speak, 

And let thy heart decide it. 

Thekla. 

O, thine own 
Hath long ago decided. Follow thou 
Thy heart's first feeling 

Countess. 

Oh ! ill-fated woman ! 
Thekla. 
Is it possible, that that can be the right, 
The which thy tender heart did not at first 
Detect and seize with instant impulse ? Go, 
Fulfil thy duty ! I should ever love thee. 
Whate'er thou hadst chosen, thou would'st still have acted 
Noble and worthy of thee — but repentance 
Shall ne'er disturb thy soul's fair peace. 

Max. 

Then I 
Must leave thee, must part from thee ! 

Thekla. 

Being faithful 
To thine own self, thou art faithful, too, to me \ 
If our fates part, our hearts remain united. 
A bloody hatred will divide forever 
The. houses, Piccolomini and Friedland ; 
But we belong not to our houses — Go ! 
Quick ! quick ! and separate thy righteous cause 
From our unholy and unblessed one ! 
The curse of heaven lies upon our head ; 
'Tis dedicate to ruin. Even me 
My father's guilt drags with it to perdition. 
Mourn not for me ; 
My destiny will quickly be decided. 

[Max. clasps her in his arms in extreme emotion. There is 



COLERIDGE >S POEMS. 



heard from behind the Scene a loud, wild, long -continued 
cry — Vivat Ferdinandus, accompanied by warlike instru- 
ments. Max. and Thekla remain without motion in each 
other's embraces. ■ 



SCENE X. 

To these enter Tertsky. 

Countess, (meeting him.) 
What meant that cry ? What was it ? 

Tertsky . 

All is lost » 

Countess. 
What ! they regarded not his countenance ? 

Tertsky. 



'Twas all in vain. 
They shouted Vivat ! 

The traitors ! 



Duchess. 

Tertsky. 

To the Emperor. 

Countess. 



Tertsky. 
Nay ! he was not once permitted 
Ev'n to address them. Soon as he began, 
With deafening noise of warlike instruments 
They drowned his words. But here he comes. 



SCENE XL 

To these enter Wallenstein, accompanied by Illo and Butler, 

Wallenstein. (as he enters.) 

Tertsky. 



My General. 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTETN. 603 

Wallenstein. 
Let our regiments hold themselves 
In readiness to march ; for we shall leave 
Pilsen ere evening. [Exit Tertsky. 

Butler !' 

Butler. 

Yes, my General. 

Wallenstein. 
The governor at Egra is your friend 
And countryman Write to him instantly 
By a post courier.. He must be advised, 
That we are with him early on the morrow. 
You follow us yourself, your regiment with you. 

Butler. 
It shall be done, my General ! 

Wallenstein. (steps between Max. and Thekla, who have re- 
mained during this time in each other's arms.) 
Part! 

Max. 

God! 
[Cuirassiers enter with drawn swords, and assemble in the 
back-ground. At the same time there are heard from below 
some spirited passages out of the Pappenheim march, which 
seem to address Max. 

Wallenstein. {to the Cuirassiers.') 
Here he is, he is at liberty : I keep him 
No longer. 

[He turns away, and stands so that Max. cannot pass by him 
nor approach the Princess. 

Max. 
Thou know'st that I have not yet learnt to live 
Without thee ! I go forth into a desert, 
Leaving my all behind me. O do not turn 
Thine eyes away from me ! O once more show me 
Thy ever dear and honored countenance. 

[Max. attempts to take his hand, but is repelled : he turn 
to the Countess. 
Is there no eye that has a look of pity for me ? 
[The Countess turns away from him ; he turns to th* 
Duchess. 
My mother ! 



6o4 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Duchess. 
Go where duty calls you. Haply 
The time may come, when you may prove to us 
A true friend, a good angel at the throne 
Of the Emperor. 

Max. 
You give me hope ; you would not 
Suffer me wholly to despair. No ! No ! 
l^ine is a certain misery — Thanks to Heaven 
That offers me a means of ending it. 

[The military music begins again. The stage fills more and 
more with armed men. Max. sees Butler, and addresses 
him. 
And you here, Colonel Butler — and will you 
Not follow me ? Well, then, remain more faithful 
To your new lord, than you have proved yourself 
To the Emperor. Come, Butler, promise me, 
Give me your hand upon it, that you'll be 
The guardian of his life, its shield, its watchman, 
He is attainted, and his princely head 
Fair booty for each slave that trades in murder. 
Now he doth need the faithful eye of friendship, 
And those whom here I see — 

[casting suspicious looks on Illo and Butler. 

Illo. 

Go — seek for traitors 
In Galas', in your father's quarters. Here 
Is only one. Away ! away ! and free us 
From his detested sight. Away ! 

[Max. attempts once more to approach Thekla. Wallenstein 
prevents him. Max. stands irresolute, and in apparent 
anguish. In the mean time the stage fills more and more ; 
and the horns sound from below, louder and louder, and 
each time after a shorter interval. 

Max. 
Blow, blow ! O were it but the Swedish trumpets, 
And all the naked swords, which I see here, 
Were plunged into my breast ! What purpose you ? 
You come to tear me from this place ! Beware 
Ye drive me not to desperation. — Do it not ! 
Ye may repent it ! [the stage is entirely filled, with armed men 
Yet more ! weight upon weight to drag me down ! 
Think what ye're doing. It is not well done 



THE DEA TH OF WA L L E . VS 7 EJN. fi p 15 



To choose a man despairing for your leader ; 

You te'ar me from my happiness. Well, then, 

1 dedicate your souls to vengeance. Mark ! 

For your own ruin you have ch sen me : 

Who goes with me, must be prepared to perish. 

\ He turns to the back-ground, there ensues a sudden and 
violent movement among the Cuirassiers; they surround 
him, and carry him off in wild tumult. Wallenstein re- 
mains immovable. Thekla sinks into her mother's arms. 
The curtain falls. The music becomes loud and over- 
powering, and passes into a complete war-march — the 
orchestra joins it — and continues during the interval be- 
tween the second and third Act. 



ACT III, 

Scene, the Burgomaster' s House at Egra. 
SCENE I. 

Butler, (just arrived.) 
Here then he is, by his destiny conducted. 
Here, Friedland, and no farther ! From Bohemia 
Thy meteor rose, traversed the sky awhile, 
And here upon the borders of Bohemia 
Musk sink. 

Thou hast forsworn the ancient colors, 
Blind man ! yet trustest to thy ancient f' rtunes. 
Profaner of the altar and the hearth, 
Against thy Emperor and fellow-citizens 
Thou mean' st to wage the war. Friedland, beware — 
The evil spirit of revenge impels thee — 
Beware, thou, that revenge destroy thee not. 

SCENE II. 

Butler, Gordon. 

Gordon. 
Is it you ? 

How my heart sinks ! The Duke a fugitive traitor > 
His princely head attainted ! O my God ! 



606 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Butler. 
You have received the letter which I sent you 
By a post courier. 

Gordon. 
Yes ! and in obedience to 
Opened the strong-hold to him without scruple. 
For an imperial letter Orders me 
To follow your commands implicitly, 
But yet forgive me : when even now I saw 
The Duke himself, my scruples recommenced. 
For truly, not like an attainted man, 
Into this town did Fried land make his entrance :, 
His wonted majesty beamed from his brow, 
And calm, as in the days when all was right, 
Did he receive from me the accounts of office, 
'Tis said, that fallen pride learns condescension ; 
But, sparing and with dignity, the Duke 
Weighed every syllable of approbation, 
As masters praise a servant who has done 
His duty, and no more. 

Butler. 

'Tis all precisely 
As I related in my letter. Fried land 
Has sold the army to the enemy, 
And pledged himself to give up Prague and Egra. 
On this report the regiments all forsook him, 
The five excepted that belong to Tertsky, 
And which have followed him, as thou hast seen. 
The sentence of attainder is passed on him, 
And every loyal subject is required 
To give him up to justice, dead or living. 

Gordon. 
A traitor to the Emperor — such a noble ! 
Of such high talents ! What is human greatness? 
I often said, this can't end happily. 
His might, his greatness, and this obscure power 
Are but a covered pit-fall. The human being 
May not be trusted to self-government. 
The clear and written law, the deep-trod foot-maik; 
Of ancient custom, are all necessary 
To keep him in the road of faith and duty. 
The authority intrusted to this man 
Was unexampled and unnatural, 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEHSt. &07 



It placed him on a level with his Emperor, 

Till the proud soul unlearned submission. Woe is me I 

I mourn for him ; for where he fell. I deem 

Might none stand firm. Alas ! dear General, 

We in our lucky mediocrity 

Have ne'er experienced, cannot calculate, 

What dangerous wishes such a height may breed 

In the heart of such a man. 

Butler. 

Spare your laments 
Till he need sympathy ; for at this present 
He is still mighty, and still formidable. 
The Swedes advance to Egra by forced marches, 
And quickly will the junction be accomplished. 
This must not be ! The Duke must never leave 
This strong-hold on free •footing ; for I have 
Pledged life and honor here to hold him pris'ner^ 
And your assistance 'tis on which I calculate. 

Gordon. 

O that I had not lived to see this day ! 

From his hand I received this dignity, 

He did himself entrust this strong-hold to me, 

Which I am now required to make his dungeon. 

We subalterns have no will of our own : 

The free, the mighty man alone may listen 

To the fair impulse of his human nature. 

Ah ! we are but the poor tools of the law, 

Obedience the sole virtue we dare aim at. 

Butler. 
Nay, let it not afflict you, that your power 
Is circumscribed. Much liberty, much error ! 
The narrow path of duty is securest. 

Gordon. 
And all, then, have deserted him, you say ? 
He has built up the luck of many thousands, 
For kingly was his spirit : his full hand 
Was ever open. Many a one from dust 

f With a side glance at Butler 
Hath he selected, from the very dust 
Hath raised him into dignity and honor. 
And yet no friend, not one friend hath he purchased, 
Whose heart beats true to him in the evil hour. 



60S COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Butler. 



Mere's one 1 see. 



Gordon. 
I have enjoyed from him 
No grace or favor. I could almost doubt 
If ever, in his greatness, he once thought on 
An old friend of his youth. For still my office 
Kept me at distance from him ; and when first 
He to this citadel appointed me, 
He was sincere and serious in his duty. 
I do not then abuee his confidence, 
If I preserve my fealty in that, 
Which to my fealty was first delivered. 

Butler. 
Say, then, will you fulfil the attainder on him ? 

Gordon, {pauses reflecting — then as in deep dejection.') 

If it be so — if all be as y u say — 
If he've betrayed the Emperor, his master, 
Have sold the troops, have purposed to deliver 
The strong-holds of the country to the enemy — 
Yea, truly ! — there is no redemption for him — - 
Yet it is hard, that me the lot should destine 
To be the instrument of his perdition ; 
For we were pages at the court of Bergau 
At the same period ; but I was the senior. 

Butler. 
I have hf ard so 

Gordon. 
'Tis full thirty years since thenj 
A youth who scarce had seen his twentieth year 
Was Wallenstein, when he and I were friends : 
Yet even then he had a daring soul : 
His frame of mind was seriour and severe 
Beyond his years ; his dreams were of great object*. 
He walked amidst us of a silent spirit, 
Communing with himself: yet I have known him 
Transported on a sudden into utterance 
Of strange conceptions , kindling into splendor, 
His soul revealed itself, and lie spake so 
That we looked roand perplexed upon each other, 
Not knowing whether it were craziness, 
Or whether 'twere a god that sijoke in him. 



THE DEA TH OF WALLENSTEW. 009 

Butler. 
But w«v. it where he fell two story high, 
l^rom a window-ledge, on which he had fallen asleep, 
And rose up free from injury? From this day 
(It is reported) he betrayed clear marks 
Of a distempered fancy. 

Gordok. 
He became, 
Doubtless, more self-enwrapt and melancholy ; 
He made himself a Catholic. Marvellously 
His marvellous preservation had transformed him. 
Thenceforth he held himself for an exempted 
And privileged being, and, as if he were 
Incapable of dizziness or fall, 
He ran along the unsteady rope of life. 
But now our destinies drove us asunder : 
He paced with rapid step the way of greatness, 
Was count, and prince, duke regent, and dictator, 
And now is all, all this too little for him ; 
He stretches forth his hands for a king's crown, 
And plunges in unfathomable ruin. 

Butler. 
No more, he comes. 

SCENE III. 

To these enter Wallenstein, in conversation with the BliRGG 
master of Egra. 

Wallenstein. 
You were at one time a free town. I see 
Ye bear the half eagle in your city arms. 
Why the half eagle only ? 

Burgomaster. 

We were free, 
But for these last two hundred years has Egra 
Remained in pledge to the Bohemian crown ; 
Therefore we bear the half eagle, the other half 
Being cancelled till the empire ransom us, 
If ever that should be. 

Wallenstein. 

Ye merit freedom. 
Only be firm and dauntless. Lend your ears 



610 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



To no designing, whispering court-minions 
What may your imposts be ? 

Burgomaster. 

So heavy that 
We totter under them. The garrison 
Lives at our costs. 

WA'LENFTEIN. 

I will relieve you. Tell me, 
There are some Protestants among you still ? 

[The Burgomaster hesitates. 
Yes, yes ; I know it. Many lie concealed 
Within these walls — confess now — you yourself — 

[Fixes his eye on him. The Burgomaster alarmed. 
Be not alarmed. 1 hate the Jesuits. 
Could my will have determined it, they had 
Been long ago expelled the empire. Trust me — 
Mass-hook or Bible — 'tis all one to me. 
Of that the world has had sufficient proof. 
1 built a church for the Ref rmed in Glogau 
At my own instance. Ilark'e, Burgomaster ! 
What is your name ? 

Burgomaster. 

Pachhiilbel, may it»please you. 

Wallenstein. 

Hark'e ! 

But let it go no further, what I now 
Disclose to you in confidence. 

[Laying his hand on the Burgomaster's shoulder with a 
certain solemnity. 

The times 
Draw near to their fulfilment, Burgomaster ! 
The high will fall, the low will be exalted. 
Hark'e ! But keep it to yourself! The end 
Approaches of the Spanish double monarchy — 
A new arrangement is at hand. You saw 
The three moons that appeared at once in the heaven. 

Burgomaster. 
With wonder and affright ! 

Wallenstein. 

Whereof did two 
Strangely transform themselves to bloody daggers, 



THE DEA TH OF WA LL ENS TEIN. * * 

And only one, the middle moon, remained 
Steady and clear. 

Burgomaster. 
We applied it to the Turks. 

Wallenstein. 
The Turks ! That all ? — I tell you, that two empires 
Will set in blood, in the east and in the west, 
And Luth'ranism alone remain. 

[Observing Gordon and Butler, 
I' faith, 
'Twas a smart cannonading that we heard 
This evening, as we journeyed hitherward ; 
'Twas on our left hand. Did you hear it here? 

Gordon. 
Distinctly. The wind brought it from the south. 

Butler 
It seemed to come from Wcidon or from Neustadt. 

Wallenstein. 
'Tis likely. That's the route the Swedes are taking. 
How strong is the garrison ? 

Gordon. m 

Not quite two hundred 
Competent men, the rest are invalids. 

Wallenstein. 
Good ! and how many in the vale of Jochim. 

Gordon. 
Two hundred arquebussiers have I sent thither 
To fortify the posts against the Swedes. 

Wallenstein. 
Good I I commend your foresight. At the works too 
You have done somewhat ? 

Gordon. 

Two additional batterie* 
I caused to be run up. They were needless. 
The Rhinegrave presses hard upon us, General ! 

Wallenstein. 
You have been watchful in your Emperor's service. 



6 1 2 COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



I am content with you. {To Butler.) Lieutenant-Colonel, 

Release the outposts in the vale of Jochim 

With all the stations in the enemy's route. 

(To Gordon.) Governor, in your faithful hands I leave 

My wife, my daughter, and my sister. I • 

Shall make no stay here, and wait but the arrival 

Of letters, to take leave of you, together 

With all the regiments. 



SCENE IV. 

To these enter Count Tertsky. 

Tertsky. 
Joy, General ; joy ! I bring you welcome tidings. 

Wallenstein. 
And what may they be ? 

Tertsky. 

There has been an engagement 
At Neustadt ; the Swedes gained the victory. 

Wallenstein. 
From whence did you receive the intelligence ? 

Tertsky. 

A countryman from Tirschenseil convoyed it. 
Soon after sunrise did the fight begin I 
A troop of the Imperialists from Fachau 
Had forced their way into the Swedish camp ! 
The cannonade continued full two hours ; 
There were left dead upon the field a thousand 
Imperialists, together with their colonel ; 
Further than this he did not know. 

Wallenstein. 

How came 
Imperial troops at Neustadt ? Altringer, 
But yesterday, stood sixty miles from there. 
Count Galas' force collects at Frauenberg, 
And have not the full complement. Is it possible, 
That Suys, perchance, had ventured so far onward ? 
It cannot be. 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEIN. Oi? 



TERTSKY. 
We shall soon know the whole, 
For here comes Illo, full of haste, and joyous. 



SCENE V. 

To these enter Illo 

Illo. (to Wallenstein.) 
A courier, Duke ! he wishes to speak with thee. 

Tertsky. {eagerly.) 
Does he bring confirmation of the victory? 

Wallenstein. {at the same time.) 
What does he bring ? Whence comes he ? 

Illo. 

From the Rhinegrave. 
And wnat he brings I can announce to you 
Beforehand. Seven leagues distant are the Swedes ; 
At Neustadt did Max. Piccolomini 
Throw himself on them with the cavalry ; 
A murd'rous fight took place ; o'erpowered by numbers 
The Pappenheiniers all, with Max. their leader, 

[Wallenstein shudders and turns pale. 
Were left dead on the field. 

Wallenstein. {after a pause, in a low voice.) 
Where is the messenger ? Conduct me to him. 

[ Wallenstein is going, tohen Lady Neubrunn rushes into 
the room. Some servants follow her and run across the 
stage. 

Neubrunn. 
Help! Help! 

Illo and Tertsky. (at the same time.) 
What now ? 

Neubrunn . 

The Princess !— 

Wallenstein and Tertsky. 

Does she know it ? 



614 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Neubrunn. {at the same time with them.) 
She is dying ! 

[hurries off the stage, and Wallenstein and Tertsky follow her. 



SCENE VI. 

Butler, Gordon. 
Gordon. 



What's this ? 



Butler. 
She has lost the man she loved — 
Young Piccolomini who fell in the battle. 

Gordon. 
Unfortunate lady ! 

Butler. 
You have heard what Illo 
Reporteth, that the Swedes are conquerors, 
And marching hither ward. 

Gordon. 

Too well I heard it. 

Butler. 
They are twelve regiments strong, and there are fire 
Close by us to protect the Duke. We have 
Only my single regiment ; and the garrison 
Is not two hundred strong. 

Gordon. 

'Tis even so. 

Butler. . - 

It is not possible with such small force 
To hold in custody a man like him. 

Gordon. 
I grant it. 

Butler. 
Soon the numbers would disarm us, 
And liberate him. 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEItf. 615 

Gordon. 
It were to be feared. 

Butler, {after a pause.) 
Know, I am warranty for the event; 
With my head have I pledged myself for his, 
Must make my word good, cost it what it will, 
And if alive we cannot hold him prisoner, 
Why — death makes all things certain 1 

Gordon. 

Butler ! what ? 
Do I understand you ? Gracious God ! You could — 

Butler. 
He must not live. 

Gordon. 
And you can do the deed I 

Butler. 
Either you or I. This morning was his last. 

Gordon. 
You would assassinate him? 

Butler. 

'Tis my purpose. 

Gordon. 
Who leans with his whole confidence upon you ! 

Butler. 
Such is his evil destiny ! 

Gordon. 

Your General f 
The sacred person of your General I 

Butler. 
My General he has been. 

Gordon. 

That 'tis only 
An ' has been ' washes out no villany. 
And without judgment passed ? 

Butler. 

The execution 
Is here instead of judgment 



Oi 6 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Gordon. 

This were murder, 
Not justice. The most guilty should be heard. 

Butler. 
His guilt is clear, the Emperor has past j udgmeni, 
And we but execute his will. 

Gordon. 

We should not 
Hurry to realize a bloody sentence. 
A word may be recalled, a life can never be. 

Butler. 
Despatch in service pleases sovereigns. 

Gordon. 
No honest man's ambitious to press forward 
To the hangman's service. 

Butler. 

And no brave man loses 
His color at a daring enterprise. 

Gordon. 
A brave man hazards life, but not his conscience. 

Butler. 
What then ? Shall he go forth anew to kindle 
The unextinguishable flame of war ? 

Gordon. 
Seize him, and hold him prisoner— do not kill him! 

Butler. 
Ilad not the Emperor's army been defeated, 
I might have done so — But 'tis now past by. 

Gordon. 
O, wherefore opened I the strong-hold to him ? 

Butler. 
His destiny, and not the place, destroys him. 

Gordon. 
Upon these ramparts, as beseemed a soldier, 
I had fallen, defending the Emperor's citadel ! 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEIN. 017 

Butler. 
Yes ! and a thousand gallant men have perished. 

Gordon. 

Doing thfeir duty — that adorns the man ! 

But murder's a black deed, and nature curses it. 

Butler, (brings out a paper.) 
Here is the manifesto which commands us 
To gain possession of his person. See — 
It is addressed to you as well as me. 
Are you content to take the consequences, 
If thro' our fault he escape to the enemy. 

Gordon. 
I ?— Gracious God ! 

Butler. 
Take it on yourself. 
Come of it what it may, on you I lay it. 

Gordon. 

God in heaven ! 

Butler. 
Can you advise aught else 
Wherewith to execute the Emperor's purijose ? 
Say, if you can. For I desire his fall, 
Not his destruction. 

Gordon. 
Merciful Heaven : what must be, 

1 see as clear as you. Yet still the heart 
Within my bosom beats with other feelings ! 

Butler. 
Mine is of harder stuff ! Necessity 
In her rough school hath steeled me. And this Illo. 
And Tertsky likewise, they must not survive him. 

Gordon. 
I feel no pang for these. Their own bad heart 
Impelled them, not the influence of the stars. 
'Twas they who strewed the seeds of evil passions 
In his calm breast, and with officious villany 
Watered and nursed the poisonous plants. May they 
Receive their earnests to the uttermost mite ! 



COLL RLDG&S POEMS. 



Butler. 
knd their death shall precede his ! 
We meant to have taken them alive this evening 
A.mid the merry-making of a feast, 
A.nd keep them prisoners in the citadel. 
But this makes shorter work. I go this instant 
To give the necessary orders. 

SCENE VII. 

To these enter Illo and Tertsky. 

Tertsky. 
Our luck is on the turn. To-morrow come 
The Swedes — twelve thousand gallant warriors, Illo t 
Then straightway for Vienna*. Cheerily, friend ! 
What I meet such news with such a moody face ? 

Illo. 
It lies with us at present to prescribe 
Laws, and take vengeance on those worthless traitors, 
Those skulking cowards that deserted us ; 
One has already done his bitter penance, * 

The Piccolomini, be his the fate 
Of all who wish us evil ! This flies sure 
To the old man's heart ; he has, his whole life long, 
Fretted and toiled to raise his ancient house 
From a Count's title to the name of Prince ; 
And now must seek a grave for his only son. 

Butler. 
'Twas pity tho' ! a youth of such heroic 
And gentle temperament ! The Duke himself, 
'Twas easily seen, how near it went to his heart. 

Illo. 
Hark'e, old friend ! That is the very point- 
That never pleased me in our General — 
lie ever gave the preference to the Italians, 
Yea, at this very moment, by my soul ! 
He'd gladly see us all dead ten times over, 
Could he thereby recall his friend to life. 

Tertsky. 
Bush, hush ! Let the dead rest ! This evening's business 
Is, who can fairly drink the other down — 



Your regiment, Illo, gives the entertainment. 
Come ! we will keep a merry carnival— 
The night for once be day, and 'mid full glasses 
Will we expect the Swedish avantgarde. 

Illo. 
Yes, let us be of good cheer for to-day, 
For there's hot work before us, friends ! This sword 
Shall have no rest, till it be bathed to the hilt 
In Austrian blood. 

Gordon. 
Shame, shame ! what talk is this, 
My Lord Field-Marshal ? Wherefore foam you so 
Against your Emperor ? 

Butler. 
Hope not too much 
From this first victory. Bethink you, sirs ! 
How rapidly the wheel of fortune turns. 
The Emperor still is formidably strong. 

Illo. 
The Emperor has soldiers, no commander, 
For this king Ferdinand of Hungary 
Is but a tyro. Galas ? He's no luck. 
And was of old the ruiner of armies. 
And then this viper, this Octavio, 
Is excellent at stabbing in the back, 
But ne'er meets Friedland in the open field. 

Tertsky. 
Trust me, my friends, it cannot but succeed ; 
Fortune, we know, can ne'er forsake the Dukei 
And only under Wallenstein can Austria 
Be conqueror. 

Illo. 
The Duke w*ll soon assemble 
A mighty army, all comes crowding, streaming 
To banners, dedicate by destiny 
To fame and prosperous fortune. I behold 
Old times come back again, he will become 
Once more the mighty lord which he has been. 
How will the fools, who've now deserted him, 
Look then ? I can't but laugh to think of them ; 
For lands will he present to all his friends ; 
And like a king and emperor reward 



o2o COLERIDGE 'S POEMS. 



True services ; but we've the nearest claims. 

You will not be forgotten, Governor ! [To Gordon, 

fle'll take you from this nest and bid you shine 

In higher station ; your fidelity 

Well merits it. 

GORDON. 
I am content already, 
And wish to climb no higher ; where great height is, 
The fall must needs be great. ' Great height, great depth.' 

Illo. 
Here you have no more business, for to-morrow, 
The Swedes will take possession of the citadel. 
Come, Tertsky, it is supper-time. What think you ! 
Say, shall we have the state illuminated 
In honor of the Swede ? And who refuses 
To do it is a Spaniard and a traitor. 

Tertsky. 
Nay, nay ! not .that, it will not please the Duke— 

Illo. 
What ! we are masters here ; no soul shall dare 
Avow himself imperial where we've the rule. 
Gordon ! good night, and, for the last time, take 
A fair leave of the place. Send out patroles 
To make secure ; the watchword may be altered 
At the stroke of ten ; deliver in the keys 
To the Duke himself, and then you're quit forever 
Your wardship of the gates, for on to-morrow 
The Swedes will take possession of the citadel. 

Tertsky. (as he is going, to Butler.) 
You come though to the castle. ' 

Butler. 

At the right time. 

[Exeunt Tertsky and Illo* 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEW. 021 

SCENE VIII. 

Gordon, Butler. 

Gordon, {looking after them.) 
Unhappy men ! How free from all foreboding ! 
They rush into the outspread net of murder, 
In the blind drunkenness of victory ; 
I have no pity for their fate. This Illo, 
This overflowing and fool-hardy villain 
That would fain bathe himself in his Emperor's blood. 

Butler. 
Do as he ordered you. Send round patroles, 
Take measures for the citadel's security ; 
When they are within I close the castle gate, 
That nothing may transpire. 

Gordon, {with earnest anxiety.) 

O ! haste not so ! 
Nay, stop ; first tell me 

Butler. 

You have heard already, 
To-morrow to the Swedes belongs. This night 
Alone is ours. They make good expeditions, 
But we will make still greater. Fare you well. 

Gordon. 
Ah! your looks tell me nothing good. Nay, Butler, 
I pray you, promise me ! 

Butler. 

The sun has set ; 
A fateful evening doth descend upon us, 
And brings on their long night ! Their evil stars 
Deliver them unarmed into our hands, 
And from this drunken dream of golden fortunes 
The dagger at their heart shall rouse them. Well, 
The Duke was ever a great calculator ; 
His fellow-men were figures on his chess-board, 
To move and station, as his game required. 
Other men's honor, dignity, good name, 
Did he shift like pawns, and made no conscience of it : 
Still calculating, calculating still, 
And yet at last his calculation proves 



622 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Erroneous ; the whole game is lost ; and lo ! 
His own life will be found among the forfeits. 

Gordon. 

think not of his errors now ; remember 
His greatness, his munificence, think on all 
The lovely features of his character, 

On all the noble exploits of his life, 

An I let them, like an angel's arm, unseen, 

Arrest the lifted sword. 

Butler. 
It is too late 

1 suffer not myself to feel compassion, 

Dark thoughts and bloody are my duty now : 

[grasping Gordon's haiia. 
Gordon ! 'tis not my hatred (I pretend not 
To love the Duke, and have no cause to love him), 
Yet 'tis not now my hatred that impels me 
To be his murderer. 'Tis his evil fate. 
Hostile concurrences of many events 
Control and subjugate me to the office. 
In vain the human being meditates 
Free action. He is but the wire- worked puppet 
Of the blind power, which out of his own choice 
Creates forliim a dread necessity. 
What too would it avail him, if there were 
A something pleading for him in my heart — 
Still I must kill him. 

Gordon. 
If your heart speak to you , 
Follow its impulse. 'Tis the voice of God. 
Think you your fortunes will grow prosperous 
Bedewed with blood, his blood ? Believe it not ! 

Butler. 
You know not. Ask not ! Wherefore should it happen, 
That the Swedes gained the victory and hasten 
With such forced marches hitherward ? Fain would I 
Have given him to the Emperor's mercy. — Gordon I 
I do not wish his blood — But I must ransom 
The honor of my word — it lies in pledge — 

And he must die, or 

[passionately grasping Gordon's hand* 
Listen then, and know 1 
I am dishonored if the Duke escape us. 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEW. G23 



Gordon. 



O I to save such a man 



Butler. 

What! 

Gordon. 

It is worth 
A. sacrifice. — Come, friend ! be noble-minded ! 
Our own heart, and not other men's opinions, 
Forms our true honor. 

Butler, {with a cold and haughty air.) 
He is a great lord, 
This Duke — and I am but of mean importance. 
This is what you would say ? Wherein concerns it 
The world at large, you mean to hint to me, 
Whether the man of low extraction keeps 
Or blemishes his honor — 
So that the man of princely rank be saved. 
We all do stamp our value on ourselves. 
The price we challenge for ourselves is given us. 
There does not live on earth the man so stationed, 
That I despise myself compared with him. 
Man is made great or little by his own will ; 
Because I am true to mine, therefore he dies. 

Gordon. 
I am endeavoring to move a rock. 
Thou hadst a mother, yet no human feelings 
I cannot hinder you, but may some god 
Rescue him from you ! [Exit Gordon* 

SCENE IX. 

Butler, {alone.) 
I treasured my good name all my life long ; 
The Duke has cheated me of life's best jewel, 
So that I blush before this poor weak Gordon I 
He prizes above all his fealty ; 
His conscious soul accuses him of nothing ; 
In opposition to his own soft heart 
He subjugates himself to an iron duty ; 
Me in a weaker moment passion warped ; 
1 stand beside him, and must feel myself 
The worse man of the two. What, though the world 



624 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Is ignorant of my purposed treason, yet 
One man does know it, and can prove it too — 
High-minded Piccolomini ! 
There lives the man who can dishonor me ! 
This ignominy blood alone can cleanse ! 
Duke Friedland, thou or I — into my own hands 
Fortune delivers me — The dearest thing a man has is himself, 

[The curtain drops* 



ACT IV. 

Scene — Butler's Chamber, 
SCENE I. 

Butler, Major Geraldin. 

Butler. 
Find me twelve strong dragoons, arm them with pikes, 

For there must be no firing- 

Conceal them somewhere near the banquet-room, 
And soon as the dessert is served up, rush all in 
And cry — Who is loyal to the EmperOr ? 
I will o'erturn the table — while you attack 
lllo and Tertsky, and despatch them both. 
The castle-palace is well-barred and guarded, 
That no intelligence of this proceeding 
May make its way to the Duke. — Go instantly ; 
Have you yet sent for Captain Devereux 
And the Macdonald ? 

Geraldin. 

They'll be here anon. 

[Exit Geraldin 
Butler. 
Here's no room for delay. The citizens 
Declare for him ; a dizzy drunken spirit 
Possesses the whole town. They see in the Dukes 
A prince of peace, a founder of new ages 
And golden times. Arms too have been given out 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEW. 625 



By the town-council, and a hundred citizens 
Rave volunteered themselves to stand on guard. 
Despatch then be the word. For enemies 
Threaten us from without and from within. 



SCENE II. 

Butler, Captain Devereux, Macdonald. 

Macdonald. 
Here we are, General. 

Devereux. 
What's to be the watchword ? 

Butler. 
Long live the Emperor ! 

Both {recoiling). 
How ! 

Butler. 

Live the House of Austria I 

Devereux. 
Have we not sworn fidelity to Friedland ? . 

Macdonald. 
Have we not marched to this place to protect him ? 

Butler. 
Protect a traitor, and his country's enemy I 

Devereux. 
Why, yes! in his name you administered 
Our oath. 

Macdonald. 
And followed him yourself to Egra. 

Butler. 
I did it the more surely to destroy him. 

Devereux. 
So then I 

40 



626 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Macdonald. 
An altered case ! 

Butler, {to Devereux.) 

Thou wretched man ! 
3o easily leav'st thou thy oath and colors ? 

Devereux. 
The devil ! — I but followed your example. 
If you could prove a villain, why not we? 

Macdonald. 
We've naught to do with thinking — that's your business. 
You are our General, and give out the orders ; 
We follow you, tho' the track lead to hell. 

Butler, (appeased). 
Good then l we know each other. 

Macdonald. 

I should hope so. 
Devereux. 
Soldiers of fortune we are — who bids most, 
lie has us. 

Macdonald. 
'Tis e'en so ! 

Butler. 

Well, for the present 
Ye must remain honest and faithful soldiers. 

Devereux. 



We wish no other 



That is still better. 



Butler. 
Ay, and make your fortune*. 

Macdonald. 



Butler. 
Listen ! 

Both. 

We attend. 
Butler. 
It is the Emperor's will and ordinance 
To seize the person of the Prince-Duke Friedlanci, 
Alive or dead. 



THE DEATH OE WALLENSTEIN. 62? 

— ... « 

Devereux. 

It runs so in the letter. 

Macdonald. 
Alive or dead — these were the very words. 

Butler. 
And he shall be rewarded from the State 
In land and gold, who proffers aid thereto. 

Devereux. 
Ay ? That sounds well. The words sound always well 
That travel hither from the court. Yes ! yes ! 
We know already what court-words import. 
A golden chain perhaps in sijm of favor, 
Or an old charger, or a parchment patent, 
And such like. — The Prince-Duke pays better. 

Macdonald. 

The Duke's a splendid paymaster. 

Butler. 

All over 
With that, my friends ! His lucky stars are set. 

Macdonald. 
And is that certain ? 

Butler. 

You have my word for i^ 

Devereux. 
His lucky fortunes all past by ? 

Butler. 

For ever. 
He is as poor as we. 

Macdonald. 

As poor as we ? 
Devereux. 
Macdonald, we'll desert him ! 

Butler. 

We'll desert \xa» \ 
Full twenty thousand have done that already -, 
We must do more, my countrymen ! In short — 
We — we must kill him. 



b2& COLEklDGES POEMS. 



Both, {starting back.) 
Kill him ! 

Butler. 

Yes ! must kill him. 
And for that purpose have I chosen you. 

Both. 

Us! 

Butler. 

You, Captain Devereux, and thee, Macdonald. 

Devereux. {after a pause.) 
Choose you some other. 

Butler. 

What ! art dastardly ? 
Thou, with full thirty lives to answer for — 
Thou conscientious of a sudden ? 

Devereux. 

Nay, 
To assassinate our lord and General — 

Macdonald. 
To whom we've sworn a soldier's oath — 

Butler. 

The oath 
Is null, for Friedland is a traitor. 

Devereux. 
No, no I It is too bad ! 

Macdonald. 

Yes, by my soul I 
It is too bad. One has a conscience too — 

Devereux. 
If it were not our chieftain, who so long 
Had issued the commands, and claimed our duty. 

Butler. 
Is that the objection ? 

Devereux. 

Were it my own father, 



THE DEA TH OF WALLENSTEItf. 629 



And the Emperor's service should demand it of me. 

It might be done perhaps — But we are soldiers, 

And to assassinate our chief Commander, 

This is a sin, a foul abomination. 

From which no monk or confessor absolves us. 

Butler. 
I am your Pope, and give you absolution. 
Determine quickly ! 

Devereux. 
-Twill not do ! 



Macdonald. 



'Twon't dot 



Butler. 
Well, off then ! and — send Pestalutz to me. 

Devereux. {hesitates.) 
The Pestalutz— 

Macdonald. 
What may you want with him ? 

Butler. 
If you reject it, we can find enough — 

Devereux. 
Nay, if he must fall, we may earn the bounty 
As well as any other. What think you. 
Brother Macdonald ? 

Macdonald. 
Why if he must fall, 
And will fall, and it can't be otherwise, 
One would not give place to this Pestalutz. 

Devereux. {after some reflection.) 
When do you propose he should fall ? 

Butler. 

This night ; 
To-morrow will the Swedes be at our gates. 

Devereux. 
You take upon you all the consequences I 



$V*i . COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Butler. 
I take the whole upon me. 

Devereux. 
And it is 
The Emperor's will, his express absolute will? 
For we have instances, that folks may like 
The murder and yet hang the murderer. 

Butler. 
The manifesto says — alive or dead. 
Alive — 'tis not possible — you see it is not. 

Devereux. 
Well, dead then ! dead ! But how can we come at him ? 
The town is filled with Tertsky's soldiery. 

Macdonald. 
Ay ! and then Tertsky still remains, and Illo — 

Butler. 
With these we shall begin— you understand me ? 

Devereux. 
How ? And must they too perish ? 

Butler. 

They the first. 
Macdonald. 
Hear, Devereux ! A bloody evening this. 

Devereux. 
Have you a man for that ? Commission me — 

Butler. 
'Tis given in trust to Major Geraldin ; 
This is a carnival night, and there's a feast 
Given at the Castle — there we shall surprise them, 
And hew them down. The Pestalutz and Lesley 
Have that commission — soon as that is finished — 

Devereux. 
Hear, General ! It will be all one to you. 
Hark'e ! let me exchange with Geraldin. 

Butler. 
'Twill be the lesser danger with the Duke. 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 631 



DEVEREUX. 
Danger ! The devil ! What do you think me, General ? 
'Tis the Duke's eye, and not his sword, I fear. 

Butler. 
What can his eye do to thee ? 

Devereux. 

Death and hell ! 
Thou know'st that I'm no milk-sop, General ! 
But 'tis not eight days since the Duke did send me 
Twenty gold pieces for this good warm coat 
Which I have on ! and then for him to see me 
Standing before him with the pike, his murderer, 
That eye of his looking upon this coat — 
Why — why — the devil fetch me ! I'm no milk-sop I 

Butler. 
The Duke presented thee this good warm coat, 
And thou, a needy wight, hath pangs of conscience 
To run him through the body in return. 
A coat that is far better and far warmer 
Did the Emperor give to him, the Prince's mantle. 
How doth he thank the Emperor ? With revolt, 
And treason. 

Devereux. 

That is true. The devil take 
Such thinkers ! I'll despatch him. 

Butler. 

And would'st quiet 
Thy conscience, thou hast naught to do but simply 
Pull off the coat ; so canst thou do the deed 
With light heart and % jod spirits. 

Devereux. 

You are right. 
That did not strike me. I'll pull off the coat — 
So there's an end of it. 

Macdonald. 

Yes, but there's another 
Point to be thought of. 

Butler. 

And what's that, Macdonald ? 



632 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

Macdonald. 
What avails sword or dagger against him ? 
He is not to be wounded— he is — 

Butler, {starting up.) 

What ! 

Macdonald. 
Safe against shot, and stab and slash ! Hard frozen, 
Secured, and warranted by the black art 
His body is impenetrable, I tell you. 

Devereux. 
In Inglestadt there was just another — 
His whole skin was the same as steel ; at last 
We were obliged to beat him down with gunstocks. 



Hear what I'll do. 



Macdonald. 

Devereux. 
Well? 



Macdonald. 

In the cloister here 
There's a Dominican, my countryman. 
I'll make him dip my sword and pike for me 
In holy water, and say over them 
One of his strongest blessings. That's probatum! 
Nothing can stand 'gainst that. 

Butler. 

So do, Macdonald ! 
But now go and select from out the regiment 
Twenty or thirty able-bodied fellows, 
And let them take the oaths to the Emperor. 
Then, when it strikes eleven, when the first rounds 
Are passed, conduct them, silently as may be, 
To th' house — I will myself be not far off. 

Devereux. 
But how do we get through Hartschier and Gordon, 
That stand on guard there in the inner chamber ? 

Butler. 
I have made myself acquainted with the place. 
I lead you through a back-door that's defended 
By one man only. Me my rank and office 



H 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 033 

Give access to the Duke at every hour. 

I'll go before you — with one pointed-stroke 

Cut Jlartschier's wind-pipe, and make way for you. 

Devereux. 
And when we're there, by what means shall we gain 
The Duke's bed-chamber, without his alarming 
The servants of the Court ? for he has here 
A numerous company of followers. 

Butler. 
The attendants fill the right wing ; he hates bustle, 
And lodges in the left wing quite alone. 

Devereux. 
Were it well over — hey, Macdonald ? I 
Feel queerly on the occasion, devil knows I 

Macdonald. 
And I too. 'Tis too great a personage. 
People will hold us for a brace of villains. 

Butler. 
In plenty, honor, splendor, — You may safely 
Laugh at the people's babble. 

Devereux. 

If the business 
Squares with one's honor — if that be quite certain— 

Butler. 
Set your hearts quite at ease. Ye save for Ferdinand 
His crown and empire. The reward can be 
No small one. 

Devereux. 
And 'tis his purpose to dethrone the Emperor ? 

Butler. 
Yes ! — Yes ! — to rob him of his crown and lif«. 

Devereux. 
And he must fall by the executioner's hands, 
Should we deliver him up to the Emperor 
Alive ? 

Butler. 
It were his certain destiny. 



634 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

■ '« 

Devereux. 
Well ! Well ! Come then, Macdonald, he shall not 
Lie long in pain. 

[Exeunt Butler through one door, Macdonald and Devereux 
j through the other. 



SCENE III. 

Scene — a Gothic and gloomy apartment at the Duchess Friedland's. 
Thekla on a seat, pale, her eyes closed. The Duchess and 
Lady Neubrunn busied about her. Wallenstein and the 
Countess in conversation. 

Wallenstein. 
How knew she it so soon ? 

Countess. 

She seems to have 
Foreboded some misfortune. The report 
Of an engagement, in the which had fallen 
A colonel of the Imperial army, frightened her. 
I saw it instantly. She flew to meet 
The Swedish courier, and with sudden questioning, 
Soon wrested from him the disastrous secret. 
Too late we missed her, hastened after her, 
We found her lying in his arms, all pale 
And in a swoon. 

Wallenstein. 
A heavy, heavy blow ! 
And she so unprepared ! Poor child ! How is it ? 

[turning to the Duchess* 
Is she coming to herself ? 

Duchess. 

Her eyes are opening. 

Countess. 
She lives. 

Thekla. {looking round her.) 
Where am I ? 

Wallenstein. (steps to her, raising her up in his arm$,) 
Come, cheerly, Thekla ! be my own brave girl ! 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. 63 5 



See, there's thy loving mother. Thou art in 
Thy father's arms. 

Thekla. {standing up.) 

Where is he ? Is he gone ? 

Duchess. 
Who gone, my daughter ? 

Thekla. 

He— the man who uttered 
That word of misery. 

Duchess, 

O ! think not of it, 
My Thekla ! 

Wallenstein. 

Give her sorrow leave to talk ! 
Let her complain — mingle your tears with hers, 
For she hath suffered a deep anguish ; but 
She'll rise superior to it, for my Thekla 
Hath all her father's unsubdued heart. 

Thekla. 

I am not ill. See, I have power to stand. 

Why does my mother weep ? Have I alarmed her 

It is gone by — I recollect myself. 

[/She casts her, eyes round the room, as seeking some one. 
Where is he ? Please you, do not hide him from me. 
You see, I have strength enough : now I Avill hear him. 

Duchess. 

No, never shall this messenger of evil 
Enter again into thy presence, Thekla. 

Thekla. 
My father — 

WALLENSTEIN. 

Dearest daughter ! 

Thekla. 

I'm not weak— 
Shortly I shall be quite myself again. 
You'll grant me one request ? 



6$6 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Wallenstein. 

Name it, my daughter. 

Thekla. 
Permit the stranger to be called to me. 
And grant me leave, that by myself I may 
Hear his report and question him. 

Duchess. 

No, never \ 

Countess. 
'Tis not advisable — assent not to it. 

Wallenstein. 
Hush ! Wherefore would'stthou speak with him, my daughter? 

Thekla. 
Knowing the whole, I shall be more collected ; 
I will not be deceived. My mother wishes 
Only to spare me. 1 will not be spared. 
The worst is said already : I can hear 
Nothing of deeper anguish ! 

Countess and Duchess. 
Do it not. 

Thekla. 
The horror overpowered me by surprise. 
My heart betrayed me in the stranger's presence ; 
lie was a witness of my weakness, yea, 
I sank into his arms : and that has shamed me. 
I must replace myself in his esteem, 
And I must speak with him, perforce, that he, 
The stranger, may not think ungently of me. 

Wallenstein. 
I see she is in the right, and am inclined 
To grant her this request of hers. Go, call him. 

{Lady Neubrunn goes to cult %4/a. 

Duchess. 
But I, thy mother, will be present — 

Thekla. 

'Twere 
More pleasing to me, if alone I saw him : 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEIN. t>37 



Trust me, I shall behave myself the more 
Collectedly. 

Wallenstein. 
Permit her own will. 
Leave her alone with him ; for there are sorrows, 
Where, of necessity, the soul must be 
Its own support. A strong heart will rely 
On its own strength alone. In her own bosom, 
Not in her mother's arms, must she collect 
The strength to rise superior to this blow. 
It is mine own brave girl. I'll have her treated 
Not as the woman, but the heroine. [Going. 

Countess, {detaining him.) 
Where art thou going ? I heard Tertsky say 
That 'tis thy purpose to depart from hence 
To-morrow early, but to leave us here. 

Wallenstein. 
Yes, ye stay here, placed under the protection 
Of gallant men. 

Countess. 
O take us with you, brother, 
Leave us not in this gloomy solitude 
To brood o'er anxious thoughts. The mists of doubt 
Magnify evils to a shape of horror. 

Wallenstein. 
Who speaks of evil ? I entreat you, sister, 
Use words of better omen. 

Countess. 

Then take us with you. 

leave us not behind you in a place 
That forces us to such sad omens. Heavy 
And sick within me is my heart — 

These walls breathe on me like a church-yard vault. 

1 cannot tell you, brother, how this place , 
Doth go against my nature. Take us with you. 
Come, sister, join you your entreaty ! — Niece, 
Yours too. We all entreat you, take us with you ! 

Wallenstein. 
The place's evil omens will I change, 
Making it that which shields and shelters for me 
My best beloved. 



638 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Neubrunn. {returning.') 
The Swedish officer. 

Wallenstein. 
Leave her alone with him. [Exit 

Duchess, {to Thekla, who starts and shivers.) 

There — pale as death ! — Child, 'tis impossible 

That thou shouldst speak with him. Follow thy mother. 

Thekla. 
The Lady Neubrunn then may stay with me. 

[Exeunt Duchess and Countess. 



SCENE IV. 

Thekla, the Swedish Captain, Lady Neubrunit. 

Captain, (respectfully approaching her.) 
Princess — I must entreat your gentle pardon — 
My inconsiderate rash speech — How could I — 

Thekla. (with dignity.) 
You have beheld me in my agony, 
A most distressful accident occasioned 
You, from a stranger, to become at once 
My confidant. 

Captain. 

I fear you hate my presence 
For my tongue spake a melancholy word. 

. Thekla. 
The fault is mine. Myself did wrest it from you. 
The horror w^hich came o'er me interrupted 
Your tale at its commencement. May it please yon, 
Continue it to the end. 

Captain. 
Princess, 'twill 
Renew your anguish. 

Thekla. 

I am firm. 

I will be firm. Well— how began the engagement? 



THE DEATH OF WALLENSTEW. 639 

Captain. 
We lay, expecting no attack, at Neustadt, 
intrenched but insecurely in our camp, 
When towards evening rose a cloud of dust 
From the wood thitherward ; our vanguard fled 
Into the camp, and sounded the alarm. 
Scarce had we mounted, ere the Pappenheimers, 
Their horses at full speed, broke thro' the lines, 
And leapt the trenches ; but their heedless courage 
Had borne them onward far before the others — 
The infantry were still at distance, only 
The Pappenheimers followed daringly 

Their daring leader — 

[Thekla betrays agitation in her gestures. Tlie officer pauses 

till she makes a sign to him to proceed. 

Both in van and flanks, 
With our whole cavalry we now received them, 
Back to the trenches drove them, where the foot 
Stretched out a solid ridge of pikes to meet them : 
They neither could advance, nor yet retreat ; 
And as they stood on every side wedged in, 
The Rhinegrave to their leader called aloud, 
Inviting a surrender; but their leader, 

Young Piccolomini [Thekla, as giddy, grasps a chair. 

Known by his plume, 
And his long hair, gave signal for the trenches ; 
Himself leapt first, the regiment all plunged after. — 
His charger, by an halbert gored, reared up, 
Flung him with violence off, and over him 

The horses, now no longer to be curbed 

[Thekla, who has accompanied the last speech with all the 

marks of increasing agony, trembles through her wholt, 

frame, and is falling . The Lady Ntubrunn runs to her, 

and receives her in her arms. 



My dearest Lady- 



Neubrunn. 



Captain. 
I retire. 



Thekla. 

'Tis over. 
Proceed to the conclusion. 

Captain. 

Wild despair 



640 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Inspired the troops with frenzy when they saw 

Their leader perish ; every thought of rescue 

Was spurned ; they fought like wounded tigers ; their 

Frantic resistance roused our soldiery 5 . 

A murderous fight took place, nor was the contest 

Finished before their last man fell. 

Thekla. {faltering.) 

And where 

Where is — You have not told me all. 

Captain, {after a pause.) 

This morning 
We buried him. Twelve youths of noblest birth 
Did bear him to interment ; the whole army 
Followed the bier. A laurel, decked his coffin ; 
The sword of the deceased was placed upon it, 
In mark of honor, by the Rhinegrave's self. 
Nor tears were wanting ; for there are among us 
Many, who had themselves experienced 
The greatness of his mind, and gentle manners ; 
All were affected at his fate. The Rhinegrave 
Would willingly have saved him \ but himself 
Made vain th' attempt— 'tis said he wished to die. 

Neubrunn. (to Thekla, who has hidden her countenance,) 
Look up, my dearest Lady 

Thekla 

Where is his grave ? 

Captain. 
At Neustadt, Lady ; in a cloister church 
Are his remains deposited, until 
We can receive directions from his father. 

Thekla. 
What is the cloister's name ? 

Captain. 

Saint Catharine's. 

Thekla. 
And how far is it thither ? 

Captain. 

Near twelve league*. 



THE DEA TH OF WALLENSTEIN. Oj I 

Thekla. 
And which the way ? 

Captain. 

You go by Tirsehenreit 
And Falkenberg, through our advanced posts. 

Thekla. 

Who 
Is their commander ? 

Captaix. 
Colonel Sekendorf. 
Thekla steps to the tabic, and takes a ring from a casket. 

Thekla. 
You have beheld me in my agony, 
And shown a feeling heart. Please you, accept 

[giving him the ring. 
A small memorial- of this hour. Now go! 

Captaix. {confused.) 

Princess 

[Thekla silently makes signs to him to go, and turns from 
him. The Captain lingers, and is about to speak. Lady 
Xfeubrunn repeats the signal, and he retires. 



SCEXE V. 

Thekla. Lady Neubrunn. 

Thekla. (falls on Neubrunns neck.) 
Now, gentle Neubrqnn, show me the affection 
Which thou hast ever promised — prove thyself 
My own true friend and faithful fellow-pilgrim. 
This night we must away. 

Xeubrlxx. 

Away ! and whither ? 

Thekla. 
Whither ! There is but pne place in the world. 
Thither where he lies buried ! To his coffin I 
41 



12 COLERIDGE'S POEMS 



Neubrunn. 
What would you do there ? 

Thekla. 

What do there ? 
That wouldst thou not have asked, hadst thou e'er loved. 
There, there is all that still remains of him. 
That single spot is the whole earth to rue. 

Neubrunn. 
That place of death 

Thekla . 

Is now the only place 
Where life yet dwells for me : detain me not ! 
Come and make preparations : let us think 
Of means to fly from hence. 

Neubrunn. 

Your father's rage — 

Thekla. 

That time is past 

And now I fear no human being's rage — 

Nrubrunn. 
The sentence of the world ! The tongue of calumny' 

Thekla. 

Whom am I seeking? Him who is no more. 
Am I then hastening to the arms — GTod 
I haste but to the grave of the beloved. 

Neubrum. 
And we alone, two helpless feeble women ? 

Thekla. 
We will take weapons ; my arm shall protect the«, 

Neubrunn. 
In the dark night-time ? 

Thekla. 

Darkness will conceal us. 

Neubrunn. 
This rough tempestuous night 



THE DEATH OF WAT.LEKSTEm. 643 



Thekla. 

Had he a soft bed 
Under the hoofs of his war-horses ? 

Neubrunn. 

Heaven ! 
And then the many posts of the enemy ! — 

Thekla. 
They are human beings. Misery travels free 
Through the whole earth. 

Neubrunn. 

The journey's weary length— 

Thekla. 
The pilgrim, travelling to a distant shrine 
Of hope and healing, doth not count the leagues. 

Neubrunn. 
How can we pass the gates ? 

Thekla. 

Gold opens them. 
Go, do but go. 

Neubrunn. 
Should we be recognized — 
Thekla. 

In a despairing woman, a poor fugitive, 

Will no one seek the daughter of Duke Friedland. 

Neubrunn. 
And where procure we horses for our flight ? 

Thekla. 
My equerry procures them. Go and fetch him. 

Neubrunn. 
Dares he, without the knowledge of his lord ? 

Thekla. 
He will. Go, only go. Delay no longer. 

Neubrunn. 
Dear lady ! and your mother ? 



$44 COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 



Thekla. 

Oh ! niy mother ! 

Neubrunn. 
So much as she has suffered too already ; 
Your tender mother — Ah ! how ill prepared 
For this last anguish 

Thekla. 

Woe is me ! my mother ! 
Go instantly. [Pauses. 

Neubrunn. 
But think what you are doing ! 

Thekla. 
What can be thought, already has been thought. 

Neubrunn. 
And being there, what purpose you to do ? 

Thekla. 
There a Divinity will prompt my soul. 

Neubrunn. 
Your heart, dear lady, is disquieted ! 
And this is not the way that leads to quiet. 

Thekla. 
To a deep quiet, such as he has found, 
It draws me on, I know not what to name it ; 
Resistless does it draw me to his grave. 
There will my heart be eased, my tears will flow. 

hasten, make no further questioning ! 
There is no rest for me till I have left 

These walls — they fall in on me — A dim power 
Drives me from hence — mercy ! What a feeling! 
What pale and hollow forms are those ! They fill, 
They crowd the place ! I have no longer room here ! 
Mercy ! Still more ! More still ! The hideous swarm 
They press on me ; they chase me from these walls — 
Those hollow, bodiless forms of living men ! 

Neubrunn. 
You frighten me so, lady, that no longer 

1 dare stay here myself. I go and call 

Rosenberg instantly. [Exit Lady Neubrunru 



THE DEATH OF WAU.EXSTEW. 645 



SCENE VI. 

Thekla. 

His spirit 'tis that calls me : 'tis the troop 

Of his true followers, who offered up 

Themselves t' avenge his death ; and they accuse me 

Of an ignoble loitering — they would not 

Forsake their leader even in death — they died for him ! 

And shall 1 live ? 

For me, too, was the laurel garland twined 
That decks his bier. Life is an empty casket. 
I throw it from me. 0, my only hope ; 
To die beneath the hoofs of trampling steeds — 
That is the lot of heroes upon earth ! [Exit Thekla. 

{The curtain drops.) 



ACT V. 



Scene — a Saloon, terminated by a gallery which extends far into 
the back-ground. 

SCENE I. 

Wallenstein {sitting at a table), the Swedish Captain (stand- 
ing before him). 

Wallenstein. 

Commend me to your lord. I sympathize 

In his good fortune ; and if you have seen me 

Deficient in the expressions of that joy, 

Which such a victory might well demand, 

Attribute it to no lack of good will, 

For henceforth are our fortunes one. Farewell, 

And for your trouble take my thanks. To-morroW 

The citadel shall be surrendered to you, 

On your arrival. 

[The Swedish Captain retires. Wallenstein sits lost in 
thought, his eyes fixed, vacantly, and his head sustained 
by his hand. The Countess Tertsky enters, stands befoit 



646 . COLERIDGE'S POEMS. 

him awhile, unobserved by him ; at length he starts, sees 
her, and recollects himself. 
Com'st thou from her ? Is she restored ? How is she? 

Countess. 
My sister tells me she was more collected 
After her conversation with the Swede. 
She has now retired to rest. 



She will shed tears. 



Wallenstein. 

The pang will soften. 



Countess. 

I find thee altered too, 
My brother ! After such a victory 
I had expected to have found in thee 
A cheerful spirit. O remain thou firm ! 
Sustain, uphold us ! For our light thou art, 
Our sun. 

Wallenstein. 
Be quiet. I ail nothing. Where's 
Thy husband. 

Countess. 
At a banquet — he and Illo. 

Wallenstein. {rises and strides across the saloon.) 
The night's far spent. Betake thee to thy chamber. 

Countess. 
Bid me not go- O let me stay with thee. 

Wallenstein. {moves to the window.) 
There is a busy motion in the Heaven, 
The wind doth chase the flag upon the tower, 
Fast fly the clouds, the sickle of the moon,* 

* These i'pur lines are expressed in the original with exquisite felicity. 
Am Himniel ist geschiistige